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PAS Can Pursue Islamic Laws for Muslims

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http://www.buletinonline.net/images/stories/aberita16/hudud-brunei.jpgCritics have always accused Anwar Ibrahim of being inconsistent with his stand on Islamic issues, especially pertaining to PAS’ aspirations. While the opposition leader gives the impression to some that he is committed to Malaysia being a secular state, he however told the Sydney Morning Herald otherwise.

In an interview with the Australian newspaper’s Southeast Asia correspondent Lindsay Murdoch, Anwar said that under Pakatan Rakyat’s rule, PAS would be allowed to pursue the Syariah system for Muslims, which was a sensitive issue in Malaysia.

On the same note, he also said that a government helmed by him would allow freedom of expression and religion.

The move, he said, would allow Muslims to enforce the Syariah-based legal system.

”I have very strong Islamic traditions. I think we should carefully consider and promote these positive values,” said Anwar.

But he added that Pakatan has agreed that no one would be compelled to pursue any religion and no one would be stopped from expressing their views or religious convictions.

However, the video recording of the interview did not show Anwar mentioning Syariah or PAS’ Islamic state agenda.

Last year, Anwar courted backlash from many quarters, including his ally DAP, for saying he supported the implementation of Hudud laws in principle.

Later, Pakatan leaders unanimously agreed that the Islamic penal code would not be implemented if the opposition pact wins the general election as it is not part of their Common Policy Framework.

Tweaking the NEP

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, also told the Australian press that he would dismantle discriminative economic policies and replace them with ideas that would propel the Malaysian economy to greater heights.

“We would maintain the affirmative action policy but tweak it to become a need-based policy,” he said.

He also lashed out at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in the interview for keeping mum over threats by Perkasa to burn Malay-language Bibles.

“Racism must be rejected. When some leaders called for Bibles to be burned, Najib didn’t say anything,” he said.

On media freedom, the Permatang Pauh MP said that the opposition pact was not given due space to speak their mind in the mainstream media.

“We are not even allowed one minute airtime in the national television. Not even one newspaper or television station is independent. Licences are only given to the ruling party’s cronies,” said Anwar.

“No country should call itself a democracy when it runs on an authoritarian or semi-authoritarian system,” he added.

When queried on the interview, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu dodged the matter, saying the decision-making process in Pakatan was made through consensus.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said he needed to refer to the interview before commenting on the matter. FMT

The interview is available here

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 05:45