HIMPUN v.s. Bersih: Does PAS Really Support Islam?

I used to have very high regards for the opposition parties, particularly PAS and PKR until recently. My childhood memories even included shouting ‘Reformasi! Reformasi!’ at the top of my voice while riding my little tricycle. I saw Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of PKR as the ideal leader for Malaysia. During his days in ABIM, Anwar was credited for doing a great job in promoting hijabs among the Muslim women. One of my teachers once told me that during her younger days, she was made fun of because she wears hijab; during the older days we can hardly see Malaysian women in proper hijab. PAS (meaning the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party) was formed with a mission to fight for Islam and to uphold Islam in Malaysia. Therefore, I used to firmly believe that if PAS and PKR could work together to form a new government, it would be really great for Malaysia.

But recent events made me doubt my strong belief and trust in PAS and PKR. Was it fair for PAS to falsely claimed that Himpunan Sejuta Umat or HIMPUN (an event organised by Muslim NGOs calling the Muslims to strengthen their faith and to fight against apostasy) as an UMNO’s political agenda while giving full-support towards Bersih, a ‘demonstration turned riot’ led by an LGBT fighter asking for fair and clean election.

As an Islamic party claiming to fight for an Islamic government, PAS should not only took part but also supported HIMPUN as it was an important Islamic program. And as for PKR who claims that the current government is not Islamic for being led by corrupted leaders who cheated in the past general elections, why can’t their Muslim and ‘Islamic’ leaders especially Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim support HIMPUN, even if their non-muslim leaders would not?

Even Datuk Ibrahim Ali (not that I am a fan of his), whom the opposition leaders refer as  ‘frog’, attended the event to support his Muslim brothers and sisters. Of course, he wanted to be one of the speakers at the event, but even after he was ‘denied’ the honour, he still attended HIMPUN, proudly sitting with the mass crowd despite of his flamboyant self. And not just that, he even used his influence to promote the event and brought along the members of his NGO in full spirit. Ibrahim Ali may be a frog for some people but when it comes to his faith, he knows that as a Muslim, he needs to protect Islam.

If a flamboyant ‘frog’ can put aside his ego for the sake of Islam, why can’t the supposedly honourable Muslim leaders of PKR and especially PAS at least voiced out their support towards strengthening the faith of Muslims? PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said to the press just before the event that (because) he respected the organisers’ wishes to keep HIMPUN as a non-political event, he will not be attending HIMPUN and advised all PAS members to follow suit.” It was an odd indeed; but what makes it more confusing is the fact that he and other PAS senior leaders gave Bersih their full-support when Bersih is also a non-political event. PAS’s spiritual leader even made a call to all Muslims to attend Bersih 3.0 rally; not only saying that it is a must(wajib) for Muslims to do so but even admitted that he provided some of them with some pocket money. Or did they took those actions to humiliate the Bersih 3.0’s organisers since Bersih 3.0 was led by an LGBT fighter? But of course it would make sense if the rumours were true that Bersih 3.0 is actually the opposition parties’ political agenda to tarnish the reputation of the current government with the hope to paint the Malaysian government as cruel, injustice, corrupted and against the freedom of speech.

PAS should do all it takes to fight for Islam, after all their party’s mission slogan is (or was?) to implement the Islamic law (hudud) in Malaysia; claiming that Malaysia under the current government is a secular country. Later, they even accused UMNO was behind HIMPUN, which was a big white lie! Why must they choose to policalise everything? And what is wrong for Muslims to sit together as an ummah(a muslim) disregarding their different political stances at such events? Earlier, PAS youth chief made a statement giving full support for HIMPUN but he was silenced by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s strong statement against HIMPUN. Wouldn’t PAS be gaining political mileage if they support HIMPUN, instead of fibbing and twisting stories? Perhaps HIMPUN is not Bersih(clean) enough …. for it was not a political event.

However, Datuk Dr. Hasan Ali who was one of their state government’s excos attended the event not as a political leader but in his personal capacity as a Muslim individual. Ironically, he was shortly sacked from the party for (as quoted by PAS president) “based on Datuk Hasan Ali’s action which have wronged and damaged the party’s interest as provided for in PAS constitution”. I (and I believe, many others) give high respect to Dr. Hasan Ali for he dared to go against the odds to support Islam despite of PAS’s orders that prevented their members from attending HIMPUN.

It seems very clear that PAS isn’t true to their words to uphold and fight for Islam. Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat(PAS spiritual leader) and Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS president) made lots of questionable statements; some were even contrary to the teaching of Islam. It is such a shame if the ‘rumours’ is true that PAS uses Islam for their own political gains to win the Muslim  (who are the majority of Malaysian) votes in achieving their dreams to lead the country or as they fondly say ‘menuju Putrajaya’. Instead of upholding Islam, their conducts shows the opposite. The worst is, the Malays are torn apart.

Is Pakatan Rakyat Really Up To It?

Unlike my 9 year old little brother, I usually have no interest in politics but the latest events such as Bersih 3.0 had got me thinking about it. There are rumours that the next general election is going to take place in June. As the Barisan Nasional had been ruling Malaysia for 57 years, the opposition group, the Pakatan Rakyat condemned the Barisan Nasional for trying to ‘hang on power’. They accused the Barisan Nasional of cheating in the past general elections in order to secure their place to rule the country. But the question is, if the Pakatan Rakyat were to win in the coming general election, will they be capable of ruling the country better than the current government does and will they be able to carry out their duties as ‘clean’ and responsible leaders?

Let us look back at the Bersih 3.0 demonstration which happened on the 28th of April, 2012. After they ‘hijacked’ the whole event and turned it into a violent political plot, they failed to control the crowd of only 30,000 to 60,000 people; except if they meant the event to turn ugly so that they can tarnish the police force and the government as claimed by the Barisan Nasional leaders.

Please click here for photos of the ‘peaceful’ rally

It is very sad to see how the Pakatan Rakyat leaders; after making such fiery speeches during the event that roused the demonstrators to break the barricade at Dataran Merdeka, they then chose to leave their supporters (as soon as their supporters entered the forbidden line) to face the water cannon and the tear gas or whatever ‘brutal actions'(as they claimed) by the police in order to control the situation. As the leaders were there at that critical moment, it is their responsibilities to go to the front line to either lead the riot (if that is what they wanted) or to ‘calm down the heat’ and order them to disperse immediately (if they really wanted a peaceful rally) to protect the supporters from facing what they always claimed as police brutality.

By leaving the scene, the leaders failed to protect their supporters, including those who were naive enough to not foresee the danger ahead of such ‘peaceful’ demonstration. But sadly, their supporters failed to see how their leaders left them all alone as soon as the ‘war’ started. All the way from the first sign of trouble when they turned down the offer of holding the event in a stadium (where it is easier to control a large number of people) to the time when they brutally exposed their supporters to danger by not stopping them from breaking the barricades at Dataran Merdeka and later blaming the government and the police for the tragedy; we may be wondering if they will be better leaders of Malaysia compared to our current ministers. And by not wanting to accept any  responsibility of the damages done and injuries caused during the event, it raises question about their credibility.

Pakatan Rakyat are also fighting for press freedom but when Mr. Benji Lim tried to voice out his regret and angerduring the press conference the day after Bersih, he was forced out of the room. And the news on their so called ‘unbiased’ online newspapers  twisted stories of the incident and added their own bits of sugar and cream to present a better view of themselves. But didn’t they accused the main newspapers and media like TV3, Utusan Malaysia and News Straits Times of twisting stories and showing only half of what happened (the side that the government wanted to be seen)? And now, aren’t they doing the same thing?

I don’t really want to judge, but I doubt it if Pakatan Rakyat is as what their medias painted them to be. There were lots of questions, dissatisfaction and incidents among the members of a party in the Pakatan Rakyat during their party elections. If the opposition leaders claimed those who questioned about how clean the election were run as  sore loses, then it is just fair if the Barisan Nasional said the same thing when facing the same situation. But to avoid ourselves from the headaches and health problems due to the pressure of analysing such a ‘difficult’ situation; why not we just agree to ‘it is all the Barisan Nasional’s fault. What do you think?

Please see: What is Bersih 3.0 fighting for? >>Aeshah Adlina’s Weblog