If PAS wins...

Abdul Hadi Awang has aligned his one million-member Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) with Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), an alliance

May 04, 2018

Abdul Hadi Awang has aligned his one million-member Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) with Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), an alliance that could steer the country toward a stronger Islamic agenda.

For decades, UMNO and PAS, the two biggest Malay parties, were bitter rivals, seeking to mobilise the mass Malay vote at successive elections.

As a trim young Islamic cleric with a long black beard and white robes almost 40 years ago, Saudi-educated Hadi made fiery speeches denouncing UMNO, the party that has ruled since independence.

In one sermon Hadi declared that Muslims cannot work with UMNO because it “retains the constitution of the [British] colonialists, the laws of the infidels.”

Since the 1980s, when religious clerics took control of PAS, the party has had limited success trying to promote its religious agenda as an alternative to UMNO despite it being Malaysia’s second-largest party by membership.

On February 4, Hadi was quoted as saying that if PAS comes to power, non-Muslims would have only a secondary role in government, with Muslims in cabinet setting policy direction while non-Muslim ministers would only be tasked with carrying out what had been decided.

“If PAS rules, [the administration] will be divided into two. One, a cabinet that decides on national policies. This must consist of people who adopt the national ideology and faith,” he said.

PAS holds only 13 seats in the 222-seat parliament after losing eight seats to defections in the last four years. -- ucanews.com (used with permission)

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