By Terence Netto
Jul 16, 2015
PAS would be doing a ‘childish thing’ if the party decides to field candidates from its supporters’ wing against the DAP in the next general election.
This intention was broached by the Islamic party’s Election Director Mustafa Ali in the course of remarks made to a web news portal on the DAP and the new political entity being set up by PAS progressives who were routed in internal elections at the party’s muktamar held last month.
Hu Pang Chow, a founding member of the Dewan Himpunan Penyokong PAS (DHPP), said PAS should instead engage in public debates with the DAP over its vision of Malaysia rather than choose to split the votes for the opposition by fielding candidates against established opposition political parties.
“Engage in public debates with the DAP, outline your vision of a new Malaysia,” was the advice to PAS offered by Hu, who was chairman of DHPP from its inauguration in 2004 until 2010.
Hu said that he respected the leadership of people like the party’s president, Abdul Hadi Awang, and Mustafa Ali because of their long service to PAS but begged to differ with them on a plan to field candidates from DHPP in seats that would be contested by the DAP at GE14 which is three years down the road.
“This is a childish thing to do,” said Hu, a longtime Kota Baru resident and former teacher in a Chinese primary school in Gua Musang, about the PAS intention to vie with the DAP.
“I don’t think they can find credible Chinese candidates who will be willing to go along with this move,” remarked Hu.
He said PAS was misreading the mood of non-Muslim voters who marked their ballots for the party at GE13 but who have now become disenchanted with the party for its insistence on implementing hudud and for “foolish statements” made by some of its leaders in support of Umno.
“In the eyes of non-Muslims who voted for PAS at the last general election, Umno is an even more discredited party now than it was before,” said Hu.
“So statements made in support of Umno and its top leader are bound to put off non-Muslims who voted for PAS at the last general election,” he asserted.
“Non-Muslim voters do not trust the word of the party anymore,” said Hu.
He said non-Muslim candidates from DHPP would be ‘committing political suicide’ if they allowed themselves to be fielded against DAP incumbents or contestants in seats where the opposition has a good chance of retaining or winning.
“PAS is misreading the mood of voters by making statements in support of Umno; it would do worse by fielding candidates in DAP seats,” said Hu.