PAS veteran backs DAP’s third vote bid

Wan Abdul Muttalib Embong

(Malay Mail Online) – Despite his party president’s opposition, PAS veteran Datuk Wan Abdul Muttalib Embong has voiced support for DAP’s bid to restore local government elections.

The former lawyer who had also previously acted as the Islamist party’s legal adviser said withholding local elections from being carried out showed democracy was only being half-practised, Sinar Harian reported today.

“We don’t know what their structure is like but (what’s wrong) in in us giving democracy?

“Do you (the government) want 50 per cent democracy? Can’t be like that, you (as the government) are not transparent,” he was quoted saying by the Malay daily.

Wan Abdul Muttalib said since elections were already being held at the state and federal levels, the third vote should also be restored to show that Islamic administrators were also just.

The disagreement over the third vote is the most recent flashpoint between PAS and DAP, who have been trading barbs over the Islamist party’s plan to enforce Islamic penal law in Kelantan.

DAP had proposed that its Pakatan Rakyat allies adopt Penang’s approach and enact state laws in Selangor and Kelantan to try to return the third vote to Malaysians.

PAS, however, accused DAP of acting unilaterally in seeking to restore local council elections, in apparent retaliation the latter’s vehement attacks over the Islamist party’s hudud ambition.

Local council elections were suspended in 1965 because of the Indonesian Confrontation and then-prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman promised the Dewan Rakyat that the third vote would be restored once the Confrontation was over.

They were never brought back; Parliament subsequently passed a law in 1976 abolishing local elections.