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Date: 28 Nov 1999
[the-malaysian] The MALAYSIAN 261199
Mahathir says PAS can't establish Islamic state
Some voters may not believe that the so-called Islamic state issue is a bogey cooked up by the Barisan Nasional to frighten non-Muslim voters. Just as the non-Malay PM is a bogey used to frighten Malay voters.
This is obvious from the way the BN advertisements differ between the Chinese and Malay papers.
In the Malay papers, no mention of Islamic state, because that might actually gain votes for PAS.
In the Chinese papers, no mention of Malaysian Malaysia because that would gain votes for the DAP.
Such is the divide and rule, setting race against race, religion against religion tactics of the Barisan Nasional.
The Barisan Alternatif's manifesto makes it clear that the fundamental issue facing us in this election is democracy and justice, corruption and cronyism, ethics and public morality.
It has pointed out time and again that the distribution of seats ensures that all will have a voice. It has pledged its loyalty to the Constitution. It has pointed out that a Constitutional amendment needs a two-thirds majority.
It has explained that the term Islamic state does not even appear in PAS' Constitution which pledges to realise an Islamic way of life.
It has pointed out that while different parties in the coalition have different ideologies, that is no obstacle to working together to realise common goals, as specified in the manifesto. Respect does not mean having to say 'yes' to everything. Respect means respecting differences of views. This is unlike the unanimity of the BN, which amounts to saying 'yes' to the leader even when some of them think 'no'.
PAS has put its name to the manifesto. So has DAP and KeAdilan and PRM.
The Barisan Alternatif has taken the honest approach, laying everything before the voter, an example of the transparency and democracy it wants to realise.
Still, some voters may not believe the Barisan Alternatif.
Fine. Believe Mahathir!
Friday, while campaigning in Kelantan, Mahathir tried to discredit PAS to the Kelantanese voter.
"PAS will not be able to set up an Islamic state because they need a two-thirds majority in parliament to amend the constitution," Mahathir said.
He said PAS was only standing in some 60 seats and its Islamic state was not backed by its partners in the Alternative Front.
"They (PAS) are speaking with a forked tongue and they cannot be trusted," he added.
Quite the opposite. So PAS is speaking the truth when it reassures non-Muslims that the so-called Islamic state is not now on the national agenda. Democracy is. Justice is. Eliminating corruption is. Fighting cronyism is. Reform is.
And it's not on the national agenda for the reasons that Mahathir says -- PAS does not have enough seats.
Clearly, a vote for DAP is not a vote for PAS. A vote for DAP is a vote for the Barisan Alternatif.
So who's been lying? The BN or the BA?
Liars do not deserve to be the government. Vote the Barisan Alternatif.
Someone's lying, again
Today's Sin Chew Jit Poh and Nanyang Siang Pao carry two completely opposed reports on Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS leader Nik Aziz.
Sin Chew's report said that Nik Aziz claimed DAP accepted the Islamic state because DAP had accepted the Barisan Alternatif manifesto.
Nanyang's report, however, said that Nik Aziz said PAS will not establish the Islamic state as the party's constitution does not mention this.
They both can't be right, although both can be wrong.
So, either Sin Chew or Nanyang is lying, or they both are.
Vote for press reform. Vote Barisan Alternatif.