This will be the first time in history a prime minister makes the unconventional move of going to the ground to be close with the local Malay community in opposition states.
Religious extremist Abdul Hadi Awang could not wait till after the Hari Raya festival to spew hatred against non-Muslim, especially minority ethnic Malaysian Chinese. The holy month of Ramadan was barely over when he threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at DAP (Democratic Action Party) yesterday – saying his PAS Islamist party will never enter DAP’s “kitchen” due to non-halal food.
The holier than thou PAS president bragged that unlike UMNO (United Malays National Organization), he will not cooperate with DAP – even if DAP replaces its Chinese chef with a Muslim chef. Like a broken record, the 75-year-old snake oil salesman has again accused DAP of pro-communist and anti-Islam. The fake holy man appears desperate and panicked.
Hadi should have advised and pressured ex-PM Muhyiddin Yassin to cut diplomatic ties with Beijing and outlaw trades and commerce with the Communist Party of China during the 33 months PAS was part of backdoor Perikatan Nasional government from March 2020 to November 2022. At the very least, he should make police reports that the “communist DAP” is ruling the country.
The disgraced PAS leader has conveniently forgotten how his party was happily working with DAP, until he received RM90 million bribes from former Prime MInister Najib Razak to split the opposition. The out-of-court settlement in Feb 2019 between Hadi Awang and Clare Rewcastle-Brown was the clearest proof that he and his minions had indeed received RM90 million bribes from UMNO in 2016.
Hadi has also forgotten that Gerakan president Dominic Lau Hoe Chai, his current partner, is a Chinese whose kitchen cooks non-halal food every day. And US President Joe Biden can certainly testify that Wee Ka Siong, the MCA president whom PAS tried to recruit through statutory declaration after the 15th General Election, is a Chinese who consumes pork and beer.
Therefore, PAS’ kitchen isn’t as clean as deceitful Hadi tries to trumpet, not to mention its PAS chef was corrupted and tainted, cooking dirty money in the kitchen – first with Najib’s RM90 million bribes followed by Muhyiddin’s money stolen from the RM600 billion Covid scandal. While Najib is serving 12 years’ jail, Muhyiddin has been charged for money laundering and corruption.
Worse, both Gerakan and Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA) have previously rejected the hudud law promoted by PAS Islamist party. In fact, Hadi’s good friend Wee Ka Siong shamelessly piggybacked Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s state visit to Beijing last month and rushed to meet leaders of the Communist Party of China for “photo op” (photo opportunity).
Clearly, in his attempt to rally Malays voters in the upcoming six state elections, Hadi tries to scam gullible Malays with the perception that the Unity Government, of which DAP is part of, is pro-communist and anti-Islam. He seems offended by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang’s wish for Malay nationalist UMNO to become stronger than religious extremist PAS and racist bigot Bersatu.
But the PAS president was more than just jealous of the cooperation between arch-rivals DAP and UMNO. In truth, he is incredibly terrified of PM Anwar’s stunning strategy to hold Malaysia Madani Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house events in three opposition strongholds – Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu. PAS and Bersatu made a clean sweep in all the three states in the Nov 2022 national polls.
Opposition Perikatan Nasional was both shocked and panicked after learning the increasingly popular prime minister is invading its territory. Hadi knew he could not criticize Anwar for hosting open house in Kedah (April 29), Kelantan (May 12), and Terengganu (May 13) as it would be seen as un-Islamic to be hostile towards such a traditional social event.
So, instead of expressing his displeasure over Anwar’s sudden invasion, Hadi has instead attacked Anwar’s biggest ally DAP. As the most senior PAS leader, he cannot be seen as petty, narrow-minded, small-hearted or discourteous. At the same time, he cannot afford to do nothing whilst watching charismatic Anwar charm the Malay village folks.
This will be the first time in history a prime minister makes the unconventional move of going to the ground to be close with the local Malay community in opposition states. In the past, the premier would traditionally hold Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the comfort of the Prime Minister’s official residence – Seri Perdana – which would attract a massive turnout.
However, this round saw Kedah being elected as the venue for the main national-level Hari Raya open house – suggesting Anwar’s confidence to wrest the PAS-led state. In the general election last November, PAS, which is part of the Perikaan Nasional coalition, won 13 of the 14 federal seats in Kedah, besides winning all the parliamentary seats in its traditional power bases of Kelantan and Terengganu.
This is not the first time Anwar Ibrahim takes the fight deep into enemy territory. In the 15th General Election, the president of PKR (People’s Justice Party) and leader of Pakatan Harapan coalition had boldly shifted from his safe electoral base to contest in Tambun, Perak, supposedly a stronghold of Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
The gamble paid off handsomely when Anwar won the seat. Eventually, Pakatan Harapan cooperated with rival Barisan Nasional to form the Perak state government after a hung assembly. And this is precisely why Hadi is having sleepless nights. If PAS loses Kedah, or wins narrowly, it will puncture the Malay support for the Islamist party and spells the end of the so-called “green wave”.
An open house may look insignificant to non-Malays or urbanites living in a town or city. Some might even laugh or ridicule Anwar’s Malaysia Madani concept of wasting money and resources to fight against PAS supremacy in the Malay heartland. But Anwar knows the Malay psyche very well. It’s not difficult to decipher the Malay psyche, especially those in rural areas.
It largely boils down to “Malay maruah”, or dignity. They would feel proud to have a prime minister walking among them, approachable and ready to listen and feast (kenduri) together. Having a leader who shows compassion and empathy during a Hari Raya open house makes the Malay community feels highly respected, what more with all the selfies-photos to share on social media.
Last month, PAS Siti Mastura shared her report card on her Twitter account to highlight her achievements after 100 days of being the MP for Kepala Batas, Penang. Within three months, she attended 58 wedding ceremonies as well as 36 funerals. To some, it might look hilarious even comical. However, to her community, it shows the politician’s effort to mingle and blend in with the rural folks.
Likewise, PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad proudly listed 34 wedding ceremonies, 15 funerals and 82 visits to senior citizens or patients as his achievements from 1-31 Dec 2022. The Bagan Serai MP won his parliamentary seat in the recent general election, beating UMNO and PKR candidates with majority 18,551 votes. He captured 33,753 votes, more than UMNO and PKR’s combined.
Anwar Ibrahim understood the mentality of the Malays. They might not care about corruption or incompetence, but they definitely remember leaders who invite them to kenduri or open house. If such events are not important, PAS leaders do not need to be extremely panicked and condemn the prime minister for trying to win over Malay votes in Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu. – Finance Twitter