Ramadan ban lands PAS and DAP in the soup

By Susan Loone
Jul 14, 11 | MalaysiaKini

A big storm is shaking up the Pakatan Rakyat in Kedah over the PAS-led government’s recent ban on entertainment outlets during Ramadan.

PAS’ coalition partner, DAP, has expressed disappointment over the new ruling, accusing accused the former of not consulting its partners before deciding on the controversial issue.

The party’s Kota Darul Aman assemblyperson Lee Guan Aik said he regrets Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak’s very hasty decision to halt the outlets as the non-Muslim community’s livelihood would be affected.

“PAS talks about setting up a welfare state. The non-Muslim community’s welfare has been affected because most of the outlets are run by them as a means of livelihood,” Lee told Malaysiakini.

He also said that the state government should spare city areas, like Alor Setar, because outlets here are run mostly by non-Muslims, why suppress their means of living, asked Kedah’s sole Pakatan representative from another coalition partner.

Lee, who is a retired RMAF senior non commissioned officer, added that the decision had been made at the recent state exco meeting without consulting coalition partners like the DAP.

Hasty decisions a PAS hallmark?

Lee, however, said he is uncertain if PKR has been consulted about this, because no DAP representative sits at the state exco meetings.

He strongly voiced his opposition to the proposal, saying that such hasty decisions has been the trend in the past three years with PAS rule in Kedah.

“We are supposed to have a secretariat where the parties would sit down and discuss controversial issues but this has not happened,” he lamented.

“We do not want this to happen again and I really do not know what has happened to the menteri besar,” he added.

“We in the DAP have always maintained our stand, we are very unhappy with this new ruling,” he stressed.

The outlets ban, which include karaoke centres and discotheques, live band performances with singers at bars, hotels, restaurants and eateries and areas easily accessed by the public, has created waves inside and out Kedah.

This morning, Gerakan threw down the gauntlet at DAP, challenging it to severe ties with PAS for persistently pursuing its intention to turn Kedah into an Islamic state.

Possible consequences of ban

It all began when Azizan, who is PAS state commissioner, said the regulation is nothing new, being in accordance with Kedah’s Entertainment Enactment 1997.

Due to poor enforcement, he added, there were those who did not abide with it during the BN’s pre-2008 leadership.

Azizan added that the ban did not apply to all Chinese eateries, outlets and fast food restaurants such as Kentucy Fried Chicken, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut that catered for international customers.

Cultural and religious performances would be allowed during Ramadan as long as they did not became a nuisance.

On whether the DAP should consider severing ties with PAS as suggested by Gerakan, Lee replied “Why should we?

“This is a decision to be decided by our top party leadership. I am meeting them soon and will let you know about it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lee is also upset that there had been no proper guidelines on the ruling, and whatever information he picked up came from newspapers.

He remarked that it was a “very blur policy” but reminded PAS that whatever decision it takes, although based on a state ruling, the implications would be “political”.

He urged the menteri besar to think twice when making decisions affecting non-Muslims as they had thrown their support behind PAS in the last general election.

“Are we going to encourage the revival of fear (of an Islamic state)?” he queried.

“At the moment, the sincerity of the entire PAS leadership in Kedah is at stake,” Lee warned.

  1. #1 by raven77 on Thursday, 14 July 2011 - 9:07 pm

    PAS has not been very bersih with DAP in Kedah….does it want the BN to take over…?

  2. #2 by monsterball on Thursday, 14 July 2011 - 10:26 pm

    Majority Kedah citizens hates Mahathir and UMNO B for sure.
    PAS is well known to be too clever…with one one track mind…and somethings when the going is good…the go back their old ways to compete with UMNO B winning voters trusts.
    It’s their out-dated style…still applying.

  3. #3 by Joetan on Thursday, 14 July 2011 - 11:02 pm

    Azizan is not fit to be the mentri besar of Kedah. He has again and again abused the rights of the non-malays. He is worse than the UMNO man. Non-malays should not vote for this man unless PAS changed him

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 14 July 2011 - 11:05 pm

    Hatyai is only about an hour and a half away. Better entertainment and food there too. Be resourceful.

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