PAS, have you forgotten your promise to Barisan Rakyat? Or was there no promise?

Posted on May 21, 2008


At the first ceramah I spoke at in the run up to the last GE, for YB Tony Pua and his ADUN running mates, I very categorically said that I trusted PAS more than I did UMNO.

I also said that I found PAS to be more sincere than UMNO.

I urged voters who might have to choose between a PAS and an UMNO candidate to give their vote to the PAS candidate.

After all, we were going to vote for change, and if we could vote out BN and vote in PAS, it would surely mean that come next election, we could, if we wanted to, get rid of PAS if they did not live up to our expectations.

That’s people power.

And at every ceramah, one demand was consistently made : no more race-based politics.

A week after the elections, some bloggers, myself included, were hosted to tea by one of the PAS leaders.

I took the opportunity to remind him that PAS must not overlook one very important fact : much of the votes that they got from non-Malays and a great many Malays outside of Kelantan and possibly Terengganu, were votes to punish the Pak Lah regime for unkept 2004 election promises rather than votes out of love and support for PAS.

I also shared with him my thoughts that if PAS sincerely wanted to change those ‘anti-BN’ votes into ‘we support PAS’ votes, PAS would have to start working hard to get all of civil society convinced that there is no reason to fear supporting PAS.

And if and when all of civil society is at ease with PAS, DAP, too, might be able to relax about an open collaboration with PAS in any state or federal coalition. With DAP being able to openly collaborate with PAS, there would no longer be a need for PKR to play the role of ‘go-between’. This would make for more equality between the three parties in dealing with each other.

I therefore read with utter dismay today a report in The Malaysian Insider that PAS is warming up to ties with UMNO.

Whilst there is nothing necessarily wrong with ‘warming up to’, it is the agenda as reported that disturbs.

According to the report, PAS has given its clearest signal that it was willing to open talk with Umno on a possible collaboration, subject to agreeable terms.

The Malaysian Insider also reports : ‘There have been overtures by intermediaries of Umno to senior PAS leaders, suggesting that the arch enemies consider working together. So far, the response from the Islamic party has been lukewarm. Party veterans such as Abdul Hadi and Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat are open to the idea of some form of collaboration with Umno for the sake of Malay unity’.

Malay unity?

Did The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration speak of Malay unity, of Chinese unity, of Indian unity?

In case PAS has misplaced its copy of these two documents, or has overlooked its endorsement of the same, let me remind PAS what, we the rakyat, declared and which declaration they have associated with by their unqualified endorsement of these two documents.

‘And we, the rakyat of Malaysia of all all races and of various faiths, now declare that we reject race-based systems of governance of the country in favour of non race-based, integrated systems of governance’.

Will PAS honour its promise to us to work towards a non race-based, integrated system of governance?

And if so, how is that to be reconciled with talks of collaboration with a party whose members have for so long played up race issues and sentiments to keep the rakyat divided for their own political survival ? Whose members and their cohorts outside the party, bankrupt and bereft of ideas on how to halt their slide into political irrelevance, now shamelessly choose to play up issues of Malay rights and Malay supremacy?

Upon agreeable terms?

What terms?

That UMNO abandon its race supremacist stance?

If it is with the likes of these that PAS now proposes to collaborate, how then does it propose to work within a Pakatan Rakyat coalition that undertook with us, the rakyat, to be guided by our Voice and our Declaration in steering this our nation forward?

Or have we read much too much into PAS’s endorsement of our Voice and our Declaration?

I need to know, and I need to know now.

I need to know if I have unwittingly misled people into believing that PAS is indeed more sincere than UMNO.

I need to know now if i must start to work now to undo the wrong that I might have done in urging people to vote PAS.

Posted in: People Power