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Pas' 'diabolical' rhetoric must be countered, says Ramasamy

Publish date: Sun, 04 Jun 2023, 06:01 PM

GEORGE TOWN: Pas is not invincible and its "diabolical" divisive rhetoric must be countered head-on, said senior DAP leader Dr P. Ramasamy.

The Penang Deputy Chief Minister II said the Islamist party had its strengths and weaknesses, and the right strategy was needed to expose the hypocrisy and divisiveness of the party.

"It will take right thinking and a long-term strategy to ascertain ways of exposing its false political narratives that have temporarily, though dangerously, sought to divide Malaysians on the basis of reinvented primordial sentiments," he said in his latest post on Facebook today.

Ramasamy said in the past, urban and well-to-do Malays gravitated to Umno while Pas held sway over rural areas like in Kelantan and Terengganu.

"However, according to the recent analysis, Pas by its deft use of religion and race, has moved beyond its traditional states to emerge as the leading Malay/Islamic party in the country.

"(A) political coalition with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), an offshoot of Umno, has given the party the credentials to combine religion and race in imaginative ways.

"Yes, Pas in Perikatan Nasional poses a powerful political challenge to the unity government in general and to the Malay-based parties in particular."

He said previously, Malay-based parties in the government and opposition battled each other over racial issues but stayed away from religion, a void that Pas exploited without a "credible challenge".

"Pas, by posing as a religious alternative to the present government, and combing race under differing circumstances, has emerged as a powerful party to the extent it seeks to offer Malays a political alternative in the form of PN," he added.

Ramasamy said PN could outdo the unity government on Malay issues, but its support among non-Malays or non-Muslims was negligible.

He said the unity government should employ its resources to undermine the divisive forces of religion and race, and these efforts must be anchored in long-term strategic vision.

"Pas' divisiveness of pitting one religion against others and one race against others is most diabolical. No government in power worthy of its name can be a silent onlooker to the dangerous events unfolding in the country in the name of race and religion.

"Malaysia is home to all ethnic and religious groups. (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim)has emphasised this point over and over again after taking power.

"It is about time that the government takes a serious stock of the dangers posed by Pas to the unity and harmony of the country."

Ramasamy said observers who cite Pas' religious credentials to explain its popularity forget that it is no different than any political party.

"Pas' popularity at present is measured by its adoption of extreme religious and to some extent racial rhetoric. It is unfortunate that other political parties have tended to shy away from taking Pas head-on. They have left a vacuum to be gleefully filled by Pas," he stressed.

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