Act fast against ‘Little Napoleons’, DAPSY tells PAS

Ida Lim, The Malaysian Insider

Kelantan’s strict law enforcement on non-Muslims are worrying Pakatan Rakyat (PR) fans, the DAP’s Anthony Loke said today and urged his Islamist Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partner to probe the delicate issue swiftly before support slides ahead of elections.

The MCA is using the PAS-led state government’s alleged crackdown on misbehaving non-Muslims as election fodder against the federal opposition pact, the DAP Socialist Youth’s (DAPSY) outgoing chief.

“Those are the issues that rightly or wrongly will affect confidence of non-Muslims towards Pakatan Rakyat, in particular towards PAS,” Loke, the outgoing chief for the DAP told a news cconference today. 

“It will be fully utilised by MCA to attack the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat so their agenda is to frighten off non-Muslims to rethink their support for Pakatan Rakyat.” 

“We sincerely hope and call upon PAS leadership to give serious attention to these issues and must be dealt with immediately.” 

When asked whether these issues will erode voters’ confidence, he stressed that action should be taken immediately. 

“There are some serious concerns. I wouldn’t say it eroded the support but I would think there are serious repercussions if those issues are not dealt with. 

He said the party’s top leadership have assured that Islamic rules do not apply to non-Muslims, but did not discount the possibility of sabotage in the Kelantan local councils. 

“But I think at the implementation level, the local government level, we cannot rule out that there may be some sabotage happening within local council… Do not let all these little Napoleons derail our agenda.” 

Yesterday, The Star reported that Kelantan enforcement officers had fined two non Muslim couples for khalwat, a crime under syariah law, but PAS had quickly pointed out the summonses were for indecent behaviour. 

Recently, non-Muslim hairdressers in Kelantan were reported to have also been slapped with fines for having customers of the opposite gender, breaching a local council by-law that bars women hairstylists from working on men and vice-versa — sparking a storm over the position of Islamic laws. 

But Loke today said that some of these issues could be solved “amicably”. 

“For example, the hair salon issue, we have conveyed to PAS our suggestion that they have to review by-laws, there should not be segregation in hair salons.” 

He said that DAP has suggested to PAS that special sections be set up in hair salons for Muslim women, which were done in some salons in Seremban. 

The Rasah MP said this would create a win-win situation, where both hair salon owners and the sensitivities of Muslims women will be taken care of. 

Loke said these issues have been used to distract voters from “real issues” such as corruption, environmental issues like the Lynas rare-earth plant, and good governance. 

As the 13th general election draws near, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has increasingly tried to scare non-Muslim voters from voting for PR by saying that PAS would implement the Islamic penal code, hudud, and create an Islamic state. Malaysia practises a dual-track court system but Syariah laws can only be enforced on Muslims; non-Muslims are exempt.