DAP men back Karpal against Islamic state

Grassroots leaders say Chua Soi Lek is harping on a non-issue.

Athi Shankar, FMT

At least three DAP grassroots leaders have thrown their weight behind party chairman Karpal Singh in his stand against PAS’s yearning to establish an Islamic state and enforce hudud.

The show of support by DAP’s Pahang vice-chairman J Apalasamy, Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran and former Taman Seri Sungai Pelek branch head Tan Tuan Tat came in the wake of MCA chief Dr Chua Soi Lek’s claim that Karpal was a lone battler against the alleged PAS agenda.

Apalasamy said Karpal’s statements on the issue reflected sentiments in the DAP grassroots.

“When Karpal speaks, the party speaks; he is the party supremo,” he said. “Why is Chua harping on a non-issue?”

He returned fire at Chua, asking whether the MCA president was suggesting that his own public statements reflected only his personal views and not his party’s stand.

“Is Chua saying that his public statements are not reflective of MCA’s grassroots sentiments and official stand? If  that is so, Chua is not a party supremo. He is a loner.”

Manogaran meanwhile criticised Negeri Sembilan PAS for segregating men from women at its Hari Raya open house last weekend, saying the act undermined efforts towards racial integration.

He said the main purpose of holding open houses was to foster unity and harmony among different ethnic groups and separating “husbands from wives and brothers from sisters” would not help achieve this objective.

Manogaran urged PAS to work within Pakatan Rakyat to tackle “bigger tasks” ahead, like taking over the government from Umno and Barisan Nasional to give Malaysians their due freedoms and rights.

Tan said PAS’s Islamist agenda was unconstitutional and went against the aspiration of Malaysia’s founding fathers to set up a secular state.

“Karpal’s stand against PAS’s Islamist agenda has been constant and consistent,” he said. “I fully support him.”

He urged PAS to abandon the agenda, saying an Islamic state was not feasible in the context of rapid globalisation.

He called on PAS to work with others to uphold a rule of law that is universally acceptable.

“An Islamic state and hudud law will not suit Malaysia’s cosmopolitan society,” he said. “PAS must respect the rights, interests and sensitivities of non-Muslims too.”