PAS president welcomes POTA

Abdul Hadi Awang

(Bernama) – PAS has expressed its support for government efforts to implement the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Bill 2015 which was passed in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said although the party had differing opinions on several technical matters, he did not deny that there was a need for such a law to defend the country’s integrity and sovereignty.

“We are united in fighting terrorism, we don’t want terrorism to be imported into this country although we have differing opinions on technical matters. But the fundamentals are the same and we agree on this. We feel what is being raised up in other countries are not suitable to Islamic teachings.

“We don’t deny the need for the law and there was a lengthy debate (on it) in Parliament. This is a joint responsibility that we must be aware of. That’s why we delayed our motion until the adjournment of Parliament,” he said at a media conference in Rusila, here today.

With regard to the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill on the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) at the next Parliamentary session which is on May 18, Abdul Hadi said he was satisfied because the matter had been agreed upon unanimously after a discussion was held between the federal and Kelantan governments on this matter.

He said PAS had agreed not to force the motion to be tabled earlier but was instead prepared to follow the schedule fixed as it believed that the national agenda, especially involving security issues and terrorism, should be given priority now.

“I was also told that a minister had made a statement in Parliament that the matter would be extended to the next sitting. That is why we don’t have to be hasty in this matter,” he said.

Abdul Hadi said he was satisfied with the support given by Muslim members of Parliament including those from Umno on this matter and considered the reception on laws pertaining to Islam to be improving compared to the past.

On another development, Abdul Hadi reminded the DAP against making statements that would create the misperception that PAS was anti-Islamic and create enmity between PAS and the Muslims.

Abdul Hadi said that on the contrary, there were still many non-Muslims who gave positive feedback on the Private Member’s Bill on the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) including on hudud.

“Some of them had carried out research at the PhD (Doctor of Philisophy) level on Malaysian politics. They approached me and raised this issue. Two days ago, there were journalists from Reuters and AFP who came to interview me and also invited me to give a special talk at the Nanyang University, Singapore at the end of the month. Insya-Allah (with the grace of Allah), this issue may be raised.

On the party’s preparation to mobilise its campaign machinery for the by-elections in Permatang Pauh, Penang, and Rompin, in Pahang, Abdul Hadi said PAS would have a meeting on Monday at its Central headquarters.

In Hulu Terengganu, the PAS division there unanimously nominated Abdul Hadi to defend his party presidency while Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was nominated for the post of deputy president at the party’s annual general assembly expected to be held in June.

The nominations were made at the division’s 31st annual general meeting held at Kubang Lembek, near Manir, here today.

For the post of PAS vice-presidents, the Kelantan deputy menteri besar, Mohd Nik Amar Nik Abdullah and two PAS central working committee members namely Nasrudin Hasan al-Tantawi and Idris Ahmad were nominated by the division.