How PAS can be force to be reckoned with in GE15

I AM fully supporting former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin’s prediction about the 15th General Election (GE15), particularly that related to PAS.

Daim predicted – as I have also – that PAS can be a bigger winner than the 18 seats and three states they currently control.

I have warned Malaysians many times in my articles that the Malay middle class are now completely entrenched in religion and will support any conservative policies on establishing Islam in Malaysia – socially, religiously and politically.

Daim went so far as saying that the Malays are now more willing to accept Islam that is conservative and would support any political party displaying and sloganising Islam as its battle cry.

My purpose of writing this essay is to advise Malaysians to be extremely wary of this development which first took place 10 years ago and how to react on issues of religious baiting by PAS or UMNO.

I would firstly advise Malaysians, the civil society and non-Malay politicians on how to handle Islamic issues during the forthcoming general election.

Secondly, I will propose my own idea of political partnerships and strategies for winning the country back from religious extremists and bigots.

Recently, we have seen how the Bon Odori issue has caused a stir in the Malaysian society. We also observed that many non-Malays have commented on the matter.

In the run up to GE15, more and more high-powered issues like the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (RUU 355) will be used by PAS and its partners as baits. The issue of the Christian threats, I assume, will be one of the favourites that will be played up by certain parties.

Malaysians must refrain from answering these issues if they are not Muslims. My simple advice is, let the Muslims answer these issues. If none are forthcoming, then the non-Malay media must interview the professors, academics or Islamic non-governmental organisations (NGOs) about their take on the issues.

At length, there should be a group of Muslim Malaysians with other non-Muslim Malaysians that can answer these Islam-weighted issues. I notice that DAP’s non-Malay MPs and ADUNs are very quick to air their comments on the media regarding Islamic issues.

I don’t know whether to call these people naive or just plain stupid. Sorry to be so the country but their comments have damaged any bridge between Muslim Malaysians and non-Muslim Malaysians for many years to come.

Sore points

Of course, these MPs and ADUNs are looked upon as ‘heroes’ and ‘heroines’ in their respective constituencies. Their chances of getting re-elected increase with their stupidity in answering the Islamic issues baited by certain political parties.

Malaysians must do the opposite by rejecting these selfish and unthinking MPs and state assemblymen. I know that we are a democracy with freedom of speech but we must always use wisdom in deciding when and what to speak.

One popular statement will set back 10 years of good relationships between faiths and races. I always wonder why the likes of Dr Aziz Bari, Zairil Khir Johari and other Malay DAP personalities are not the first to give a counter response to any Islamic issues.

I therefore have to ask whether DAP a Chinese political party or otherwise. From where I am standing and looking at all the statements on Islam, I am starting to think that my friends may be right all along that DAP is a racist party.

Their party election that does not see any inspiring action to appoint more Malays seem to be the nail in the coffin despite their rhetoric of we are a party for people of all races.

PAS and UMNO absolutely love it when Malaysia’s non-Muslims, especially those from DAP, answer their election-baiting issues on the Malay race and Islam. When should Malaysians wise up to this 60-year-old trick?

Silence is golden

Not answering does not mean that we are frightened or that we do not care or that we are ignorant, but it is a strategy not to fall into the enemy’s traps!

The GE15 war games have already started and come the day of casting votes, it would be too late to strategise any battle plans already.

Secondly, I wish to air my opinion on the Pakatan Harapn (PH) Big Tent strategy. I think PH should have a Small Tent strategy. I don’t support PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli’s ‘No Tent’ strategy.

I think a strong Perikatan Nasional (PN) with PAS and Bersatu as core members would give an excellent advantage to PH as the Malay votes will be split between UMNO-BN and PAS-Bersatu PN.

Nobody cares about MCA, MIC or Gerakan as they are all anchovies (anchovies) to many Malaysians. Wherever the whale goes, the anchovies will follow.

Malaysians MUST NOT be bitten by the “voter fatigue” or “voter-Angry” virus. Everyone who cares about the nation’s future must return home to vote. Everyone.

Only with an above 80% voter turnout will PN and BN have nightmares of GE14. Pejuang has no teeth and yet it wants to place candidates in many places.

Warisan seems to think it can win in all three nations with its president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal suddenly declaring he will work with anyone who wins for a stable government. Shafie has just signed his retirement papers with that statement and is no longer deserving of any worthy consideration of a leader.

I used to think that he was good PM material but not so after that statement. PH must build a Small Tent with MUDA, Gerak and MAP (Malaysia Advancement Party). MUDA must remember it is a newbie and toe the line and do not be stubborn.

No to Talibanising

MUDA is new personhence just act like one. PKR must also field credible candidates. I would never vote for any candidate that I think is from the ‘old politics of power’ and not capable of serving the people.

We the the people demand to know who PKR’s candidates are before they are fielded or chosen so that we can have a say or two on these characters.

If not, Malaysians will not promise any blank cheque to PKR. PH must also drop this Anwar PM thingy and offer a possible premiership to Sabah and Sarawak parties like Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) which has shown its teeth and is a strong political player.

I can live with a PH-BN Government. It already exists. What I can’t live with is a PAS-BN rule. This is a disaster of extinction level because Malaysia can just disappear from the cosmos.

Finally, Daim’s words must be heeded by Malaysians or else we risk Talibanising this country with PAS controlling five states and 35 MPs.

That is the scariest scenario for this country and if that happens, we will never recognise the Malaysia that we will live in anymore. So fellow Malaysians, the time has come to think differently with wisdom – not with anger or despair.

We have to play smart politics and put these political parties in their places strategically. – July 15, 2022

Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is a professor at a local university. His views were first published in MYSinchew.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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