PAS is qualified to receive a nomination to the Sabah state assembly as it is in the victorious Perikatan Nasional coalition, said Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir.
The Selangor PAS leader wrote in Harakah Daily that this made his party a vicarious member of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah that won the 16th state election.
PAS did not contest any seat in the September 26 poll and has never won an election in the state.
“Like it or not, that is the reality and Sabahans are entitled to accept a PAS representative in the government to be assessed and for familiarity,” he said.
Roslan added that history would be made through the nomination, pointing out that this would be the first time the Islamist party would join a Sabah government.
He rejected rivals’ claim that allowing PAS into the state assembly and government would harm the multicultural fabric of the state, calling these “gutter politics” intended to frighten Sabahans.
The PAS leader insisted that the party’s rule of Kelantan and Terengganu has not sidelined non-Muslim residents, holding up the existence of the “Wat Buddha” in Kelantan as evidence that the Islamist party accepted other religions.
“Let the people of Sabah see and judge for themselves the ability and performance of PAS in their state. DAP, please sit as a constructive Opposition, do not become peddlers of slander and instigators,” he said.
Yesterday, Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said he expected PAS to receive at least one of the six nominated assemblymen spots available to the state government.
Former Sabah assistant minister of law and native affairs Jannie Lasimbang objected to this, arguing that bringing the Islamist party into the state legislature or, “worse still”, the state government would do irreparable harm to Sabah’s multiculturalism.
The Sabah DAP Wanita chief argued that PAS was not known for its acceptance of multiculturalism, which would put it at odds with the diverse natives of the state.
Among others, she cited PAS MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh’s claim in Parliament that the Bible has been “distorted” from its original meaning, as evidence that the Islamist party’s presence would harm Sabah.
Sabah has a large Christian population, which the 2010 Census placed at 26 percent of the state. In Malaysia, this was second only to Sarawak’s 42 percent and significantly higher than Kelantan and Terengganu’s 0.28 percent and 0.22 percent, respectively. – MMO