Umno must be bold to confront PAS’ rising popularity using Islam as political fodder, said former minister Zaid Ibrahim.
“Even the Taliban claims they are Islamic, but we must ask about what kind of Islamic country we want.
“Do we want an Afghanistan, Indonesia, or Egypt?
“Voters in Kelantan dare not ask such questions and even Umno has no guts to engage in a debate with PAS on the matter,” he said in a video on Facebook today.
According to Zaid, this is because Umno is afraid of being branded as “going against Islam.”
PAS commands massive support among its voters, including the youth, who cannot differentiate between religion and politics, he added, and it is up to Umno/BN to point out the differences.
“PAS is lucky it got registered as an organisation under British rule, and the British don’t know what’s an Islamic party. So, they just approved the registration.
“But when Umno came to power, it did not dare change PAS’ name. If I were in power, I will not let it pass because Islam is a religion, and PAS is a political party,” said Zaid.
Now that Umno is part of the coalition government in power, Zaid noted that it can urge the Registrar of Societies to compel PAS to change its name to separate Islam from its brand. PAS stands for Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (Pan-Islamic Party).
“Put whatever name you want, but don’t use Islam because it’s a religion. From the beginning, we (Umno) have lost to PAS because they are riding on religion, and we allowed it.”
He urged the youths to “ask questions” and demand PAS change its name.
“In view of the upcoming state elections, I urge both Umno and BN to be bolder in putting up solid arguments to counter the narrative spread by PAS.
“When we tell them (the voters) that PAS is ‘not Islam’ and make sure the party does not use religion for political means, the voters will start coming back to Umno,” he stressed. – Malaysiakini