KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 21 – The PAS today pledged not to implement any policies that would oppress the public if it were part of the federal government, as its Perikatan Nasional (PN) aims to win the support of the bloc of East Malaysia to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).
In a statement, Islamist Party Secretary General Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said PAS believes in the Islamic principle that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ and will not force non-Muslims to convert. .
“We reject any claim that PAS will use its position as the party with the most federal seats to implement policies that oppress any group, especially in Sarawak and Sabah where its people live in harmony according to their own traditions and religions,” he said. .
He claimed to have respected the diversity and plurality of Malaysians of different ethnicities, traditions and religions, as well as their rights and freedoms to practice their own way of life which is protected by the Federal Constitution.
“We have proven this by showing openness to other races and religions in the PAS-led state government in Kelantan over the past 30 years,” he added.
PAS currently has the most seats in parliament of any political party with 49 seats, with 27 of those contested under the banner of Perikatan Nasional (PN) rather than its own logo.
PN is currently considering forming the federal government with GPS and GRS.
However, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing reportedly said the GPS would wait before deciding on a partner to form the federal government.
This follows the public backlash from Sarawak voters against the GPS, following numerous incidents in the past where the PAS had attempted to impose its version of Islam in public policy.
In March this year, Senator and PAS Information Chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin said he was seeking a constitutional amendment to make it a precondition for the prime minister to be a Muslim, prompting a chorus criticism from parties in Sarawak.
During the 15th general election campaign, PAS Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang used a hissing remark calling for violence against certain ethnic groups, with an anti-DAP social media post invoking the power of God to punish certain ethnic groups by eliminating them.
PN Chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was also recorded during the campaign, saying a group of Jews and Christians were plotting to take over Muslim-majority Malaysia.