Karpal: Pas reps must toe the line

(NST) – DAP chairman Karpal Singh, describing Pas Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi as “a relatively minor official in the Pas hierarchy”, has asked Pas leaders to keep “members in the lower ranks” in check.

Karpal has also urged Pas leaders to pursue the welfare state, an ideal endorsed by Pakatan Rakyat and the DAP.

The trigger for Karpal’s terse reminder was remarks by Nasrudin over Karpal’s supposed latest stance towards the implementation of hudud at a recent debate.

That remark had already produced a stinging rebuke from the veteran politician earlier.

A MobTV.my video recording of the debate on Thursday, titled “PRU13: Orang Muda Pilih Siapa”, between the Pas Youth leader and Umno Working Committee Secretariat of Young Ulama chairman Fathul Bari Mat Jahaya, had Nasrudin saying: “I would like to ask my friend Fathul Bari to update me about Karpal Singh … he (Fathul) said that Karpal Singh had said, ‘… over my dead body’ when the idea to implement hudud came about 10 years ago.

“However, like Fathul said, it was 10 years ago. Now, after a recent Pakatan Rakyat convention held in Penang, Karpal said that after he had befriended Pas, the issue of hudud can be discussed again.

“This means that there is some sort of understanding (between Pas and DAP) about the law.”

Nasrudin has since acknowledged that he had said so during the debate. Yesterday, Karpal provided further clarity to his own position vis-a-vis the implementation of hudud, a term used to describe the class of punishments for certain crimes such as theft, fornication and adultery, consumption of alcohol or other intoxicants and apostasy.

In a terse reminder, he said Pas leaders must see to it that lower ranked members did not treat the decision of its muktamar with impunity and in the process sabotage Pakatan Rakyat’s chances in the coming general election.

Karpal said Pas’ bona fides must be reflected in effectively striving for a welfare state in line with the wishes of its leadership and members who voted for the abandoning of the Islamic state.

Karpal said it was also imperative that they continue to pursue setting up of a welfare state decided by them at the muktamar, which had the blessings of both the DAP and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

“It boggles the mind for a relatively minor official in the Pas hierarchy in Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi to now publicly pursue and espouse the implementation of the hudud laws which contravene the muktamar’s decision to abandon the party’s decision to set up an Islamic state in place of a welfare state,” he said in a statement.

“Let it be known that it will not also be included in the common manifesto of the Pakatan Rakyat in the coming general election.”

Karpal said he had publicly stated on Dec 23, 2010 that Pas had to accept the reality of Malaysia being a secular state and, in the larger interests of the Pakatan Rakyat, they should not push for an Islamic state.

“If it does so, Pas will enhance its image as a political party which was prepared to compromise in the larger interest of the country.

“True to my call to Pas, at its muktamar last year, the party decided to abandon its avowed aims to set up an Islamic state and decided to give expression to the provision in the Quran which provided for a welfare state.”