PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is against PAS because the Islamist party has been responsible for dividing the Malay community since pre-Merdeka days.
In a lengthy statement on his blog chedet.cc, Dr Mahathir claimed that PAS, then known as Pan Malayan Islamic Parti (PMIP), was formed by disgruntled Umno members who weren’t selected to be leaders by Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the tail end of British rule.
“The main issue during the election then was independence. While Umno in Perikatan (the Alliance, the forerunner of Barisan Nasional) demanded independence, PAS claimed that Malaya isn’t ready for independence.”
As a result, Dr Mahathir, a former Umno president, said that out of the 52 seats contested, the then Alliance, consisting of Umno, MCA and MIC, won 51 seats while PAS only won one seat.
“It’s clear that the rejection of independence was detrimental for PAS. That’s when Islam began to be fully manipulated to pull support from the Malays,” he said.
According to Dr Mahathir, PAS then begin labelling Malay Umno supporters as non-Muslims and infidels, simply because they chose to work with non-Muslims in the Alliance.
As a result, Malays who aren’t PAS members suddenly found themselves labelled as kafirs (infidels), even though they were from the same Shafie school of Islam. This caused a deep divide to take place, he explained.
The divide was so apparent that Dr Mahathir claimed PAS supporters weren’t even allowed to marry Umno supporters.
“Even some people regard their parents’ marriage as illegitimate or kafir, simply because they are not PAS members.
“There is no religious scholar in Malaysia that is brave to say that calling non-PAS members as infidels is wrong and against Islamic teachings.
“Religious enforcers that are responsible over Islam are keeping mute about it,” he said.
Things became worse after Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, (now PAS president) delivered a sermon in Kuala Terengganu in 1981 called Amanat Haji Hadi (Hadi's message), which dubbed supporters of the Islamist party as jihadists, while those who oppose them were deemed as infidels.
Dr Mahathir said the mandate was the reason behind the Memali incident, where Ibrahim Libya and 14 of his supporters were killed after rushing and killing four police officers.
“It is clear that PAS has badly divided the Malays. Until today, there are still those who have separate congregational prayers in the same mosque,” he said.
Dr Mahathir claimed that before PAS’ existence, Malays weren’t divided because of religion.
“Only after PAS was formed did the Malays morph into arch enemies. This divide has weakened the Malays and caused PAS to seek help from the kafirs.
“But, when PAS works together with a kafir, they claim that it is on the basis of Tahaluf Siyasi, which means political cooperation. This is exactly what Umno did when they worked together with MCA and MIC.
“Thus, it is clear that the Arabic language was used to islamise PAS’ cooperation with a kafir.”
Dr Mahathir pointed out that PAS members often regard the teaching of its leaders and the party as more important than the teachings of Islam itself.
“Even though the Quran says that Muslims are brothers, PAS members are willing to be enemies with other Muslims due to the teachings of its party leaders.
“Because of this attitude, the Malays in Malaysia are divided until today. It is not Islam that divides the Malays, but PAS’ brand of politics instead.
Dr Mahathir claimed that although some Muslims have left PAS, many of its members are still deeply devoted to the Islamist party and its teachings.
“The deeply-rooted divide among Malays is continuous and it will continue for as long as PAS misinterprets and manipulates the teachings of Islam.
“That is exactly the reason why I’m against PAS,” he said.