Hadi’s ‘Muslim-only cabinet’ aimed at ultra-conservatives

Yasmin Ramlan Nabihah Hamid

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is only interested to win Muslim votes at the next elections. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 26, 2017.

PAS is clearly becoming more ultra-conservative after its president, Abdul Hadi Awang, said only Muslims will occupy decision-making roles in any future PAS cabinet, say analysts.

The latest statement by Hadi is likely targeted at gaining support from the most conservative sections of Muslim society, said Dr Kartini Aboo Thalib.

Other analysts said in trying to appeal to conservative Muslims, PAS is killing of whatever chances it had of attracting non-Muslim support.

Hadi’s stance towards non-Muslims in policymaking roles would negate any goodwill the party could have received from its strategy of fielding non-Muslim candidates.

“Is this PAS’ way of convincing Malay-Muslim voters that it is the champion and guardian of Islamic issues?” said Hisommudin Bakar of the Ilham Centre.

“Hadi’s statement shows that PAS is ultra-conservative in terms of administration. This will have implications in our multi-ethnic society,” he said.

In his latest column in PAS mouth piece Harakahdaily, Hadi gave an indication of what a PAS government will look like if the Islamist party took over Putrajaya.

According to PAS, the head of state and his cabinet members must be those of the Islamic faith from the most dominant community.  

Muslims, according to Hadi, will be policymakers and shape the country’s direction. Non-Muslims will only be appointed as experts and managers.  

Hadi’s statement comes as the party’s election director Dr Ahmad Samsuri Moktar said PAS will be fielding non-Muslim candidates in the 14th general election.

PAS the kingmaker?    

Kartini, of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), said Hadi’s statement was a tactic to get Malay-Muslim votes by distinguishing itself from Malay party Umno.

Umno, which is PAS’ chief electoral rival, consistently works with non-Malay allies in the Barisan Nasional coalition to form governments.

“This is a tactic to fish for Malay-Muslim votes. The message is if you vote for PAS, the whole cabinet will be Malay-Muslim. But if you vote for BN, the cabinet will be diverse,” she said.

Another analyst, Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, said Hadi’s statement would make it difficult for the party to become a “kingmaker” to influence whatever government would be formed after GE14.

“A kingmaker requires cooperation from other parties but this kind of talk, though it can appeal to hardcore Malay Muslims, can scare away a substantial number of non-Malay Muslims,” said Kamarul said of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).

PAS leaders have said the party wants to win enough seats in GE14 to be the kingmaker in any future government.

Dr Wong Chin Huat of the Penang Institute was even more caustic of Hadi’s idea, but added that it also posed serious questions for Muslim voters.

“Hadi is basically chasing away non-Muslim votes for all PAS candidates, if there is any left. 

“What kind of non-Muslim will vote for a party that believes they (non-Muslims) are inferior… that they can only be ruled but not part of the government?

“If the West tells Muslims that they are not fit to be leaders and they should not complain because they are already given rights, won’t they be accused of Islamophobia and racism?

“If Muslims reject such hypothetical bigotry in the West, can they agree with Hadi’s plan in Malaysia? I’d like to hear what other PAS leaders, such as (party deputy Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man) and (vice-president) Iskandar Abdul Samad have to say about this.” – December 26, 2017.

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  • God created a world that is universal, while man likes to group themselves and creates boundaries and conflicts. That is silly.

    Posted 6 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

    • When we look at the earth from the sky, there are no boundaries…

      Posted 6 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

    • We usually look at ourselves and have a tiny and narrow view.

      Posted 6 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

    • As a group, it is not any bigger.

      Posted 6 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

  • A view not very different from that of ISIS, that non Muslims or even the wrong type of Muslim do not have the right to live.

    Posted 6 years ago by Xuz ZG · Reply

  • F****** RACIST HATER.

    Posted 6 years ago by Bigjoe Lam · Reply

  • To all of PAS and those in UMNO who think like him - "Just because an idea is tenacious, DOES NOT MEAN ITS WORTHY".. Look it up.

    Posted 6 years ago by Bigjoe Lam · Reply