Watch what you say if you want non-Malay support, PAS told

A Bersatu leader has urged PAS to be mindful of its rhetoric if Perikatan Nasional (PN) wants to secure support from non-Malay voters.

(FMT) – Chong Fat Full, Bersatu’s associate wing chairman, told FMT that certain actions by PAS in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis had hindered efforts to garner support from non-Malays.

“When articulating our views, we need to be careful so that it doesn’t become a burden for us. These actions typically come from PAS.

“I’m not saying they are wrong, but look at what is being said,” he said, adding that the intent was not to control PAS leaders but to counter the narratives put forward by opponents.

Chong also said there was confusion among the non-Malays regarding Islamic laws, exacerbated by DAP’s “doctrine”, which he added should be clarified as much as possible.

“When we reach out to the voters, they ask whether they can still wear shorts when they go out for a drink after voting for us (PN). All this is not clear,” he said, referring to an incident in Kelantan where a Chinese woman was fined for wearing shorts in public.

Chong also said that in August last year, the associate wing had bypassed the Bersatu top leadership and met with PAS leaders to shed light on the misconceptions that had arisen.

“If we go through the top, it will not ‘be direct’. The meaning might not be the same. So we took the initiative to engage directly with PAS. That is crucial,” he said.

“We need to foster greater interaction to reduce misunderstandings.”

In his speech at PAS’s 69th muktamar on Oct 20, party president Abdul Hadi Awang said PAS and PN had failed to secure enough combined seats to form the government at the 15th general election (GE15) because of their struggle to attract non-Malay support.

Hadi said this was despite a sudden overall increase in support.

As a result, he said PAS must now work on winning over non-Malay and non-Muslim voters at the 16th general election.

At GE15, PN secured a total of 74 seats, with PAS claiming victory in 43 seats and Bersatu in 31.

However, Bersatu’s associate wing and Gerakan were unsuccessful in mixed seats controlled by Pakatan Harapan through DAP.