Backing Dr M instead of Anwar more beneficial for Islam, PAS spiritual leader says

(MalayMail) – PAS believes that supporting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad instead of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be more beneficial for Islam and Muslims.

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Hashim Jasin said to date, Dr Mahathir was more willing and prepared to take action for the sake of religion and country, citing the recent Cabinet’s reversal of its ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Until today, approaching Mahathir is more favourable to Islam than Anwar, and like the decision on the Rome Statute’s withdrawal, PAS welcomes when something is done for the sake of Islam,” he was quoted by local Malay-daily Sinar Harian in Kota Baru yesterday.

He added that despite the political difference, PAS took the stance of supporting whichever decisions that benefited Islam.

“I want to reiterate that as of today the simple formula PAS held onto was to support any shariah-compliant decisions,” he said.

On Friday, Dr Mahathir announced that Putrajaya will pull out of the Rome Statute, while warning that critics of the treaty had wanted to trigger a row between the country’s monarchy and the new government.

Later in his announcement, Dr Mahathir himself conceded that the withdrawal was not because the Cabinet felt negatively about the decision, blaming instead “confusion created by one particular person who wants to be free to beat up people.”

The decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute received backlash from human rights defenders, especially since it came just less than half a year after Putrajaya said it will not ratify anti-racial discrimination convention ICERD following pressure from the Malay-Muslim lobby.

Putrajaya now has until June to withdraw from ratifying the treaty, and Dr Mahathir said it will do so officially by then.

Over 100 countries are party to the ICC, that probes genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression that are committed either in the territory of a state party or by a citizen of a state party.