KUALA TERENGGANU: For about 15 years, R. Kumutha has thrown her support behind PAS after seeing how non-Muslim communities lived peacefully under the leadership of its late spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
As a Hindu, her decision to support an Islamist party is understandably baffling to many but she remains loyal to PAS as it stands firm to its fundamentals, which is based on the Quran.
“One of the things that attracted me to the party is how its leaders have respect for everyone, regardless of race or religion,” she said, adding that she believes that PAS is a party of integrity.
Kumutha, 39, experienced this first-hand during a visit to Kelantan when Nik Abdul Aziz was still leading the state government as its mentri besar.
“They did not invade houses of worship of other religions and in fact, they cared for the welfare of the non-Muslim community,” she said.
She said she visited an Indian community in Kuala Kerai, which numbered less than 5,000 people, and was pleased to see how they lived happily.
They too have mutual respect for the Malay community, she said.
Since she joined the party as a member of the PAS supporters club in 2007, Kumutha from Johor Baru was appointed to head the club’s Johor chapter since 2013 and is currently the club’s Women’s Wing chief at the central level.
She also stood as the party’s candidate in Johor, first in Tiram in 2008 and more recently in Johor Jaya in GE14.
She admitted that being a non-Muslim supporter of PAS is challenging especially when the opposition scares constituents by disseminating false information.
“I remember during one of the campaigns, a candidate from Pakatan Harapan scared constituents by saying that if they voted for me, they can expect potong (chop), ambiguously suggesting that Hudud will be practised,” she said.
She said she had to correct the community’s perception about hudud and syariah laws saying that the punishments are not as easily implemented as people might think.
There are conditions that need to be met and hudud law cannot be implemented unless it is passed in Parliament first, she said, adding that she also supports Hadi’s Bill which aims to strengthen syariah law in the country.
For her loyal support, she was given a special award at the 58th PAS Women’s Wing General Assembly, held on the sideline of the annual PAS Muktamar (General Assembly).
“I was very shocked to receive this award and I see myself as a life-long PAS supporter as I made a promise to my father on his death-bed that I will remain loyal to what I believe in,” she said.
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