Monday, May 9, 2011

PAS leaders put down right wing paper's latest fire

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 : PAS leaders have come together to slam right-wing group Perkasa's mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia in its latest claim against DAP of a 'Christian conspiracy' to make Islam the religion of the Federation.

L-R: Hadi, Tuan Ibrahim and Nasrudin
PAS president Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang condemned the paper for being irresponsible in playing up communal issues to fan sentiments especially among the Malays Muslims.

Hadi reiterated that PAS, PKR and DAP have long agreed to defend the Federal constitution, among which makes Islam the official religion while ensuring freedom for other religions to be practised.

“This commitment is enshrined in Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy. Hence, the ploy played by certain media aiming to rouse the people’s sentiments especially among Malays Muslims that Malaysia would become a Christian state smacks of irresponsbile reporting,” Hadi told Harakahdaily.

Earlier, the UMNO-owned Utusan Malaysia's headline on Saturday screamed "Christianity as Official Religion?", basing its report on pro-UMNO bloggers. Referring to a meeting between various religious leaders with DAP at a hotel in Penang, the paper accused the party everything from wanting to make Christianity the official religion to ensuring the next prime minister would be from the Christian faith.

The paper said as such, the position of Islam in the country was being undermined.

However, Hadi said it was UMNO leaders who caused the religion to be weak and even its position being doubted.

“UMNO not only fails to strengthen Islam's status as the religion of the federation but also failed to educate people on the real meaning of Islam. It has weakened Malay Muslims and left them confused and embroiled in social ills,” he added.

Vice president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man rubbished the report as baseless and dismissed the allegations.

“With all of DAP’s might, it cannot do what it is being accused of ... even if it is under Pakatan Rakyat’s name.

"DAP will not propose such an illogical plan,” he said, urging authorities to act against those behind the allegation.

"Pakatan Rakyat at its earliest stages has openly declared that we will uphold the federal constitution, especially Islam as the official religion of this country,” he explained, adding that the allegation could not hold water not only due to its "baseless" claim but also judging by parliamentary realities.

Inaction on paper

Tuan Ibrahim said publication of such reports would have immediately brought an end to a newspaper.

"Just imagine if Harakah or Rocket does that, they will be punished and have their permits revoked. Such a double standard is why the media owned by the ruling party are getting more uncouth and daring to do a variety of things from broadcasing pornographic clips to publishing racist articles,” he said.

PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hasan Tantawi meanwhile warned that Utusan’s could tense relationship between followers of different religions in the country.

He echoed other PAS leaders, saying that had UMNO been successful in abiding by Islamic tenets, such a speculation would not have been thought of.

“At the same time, other religions beside Islam will be at peace and be comfortable to practise their respective religions,” he said, adding that the latest issue only revealed UMNO was incapable of ensuring the country's stability.


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