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Date: 04 Dec 1999
There needs to be more open dialogue between PAS and non-Muslim political parties, including the DAP, PAS central committee member Mohamad Sabu said yesterday.
Speaking in his personal capacity as the new MP for Kuala Kedah, he said it was important for the party and the Chinese community to hold more dialogues to ensure better co-operation in the future.
"Based on the latest elections, the voting trend of the Malays is to support PAS. It is PAS that is now the leader of the Malays.
"And because the political reality is that the Malays will continue to be the dominant race, it is important for PAS and the Chinese community to forge closer ties for the future," he said yesterday at the party's Federal Territory office in Gombak.
He said that although his statement was made in his personal capacity, he was convinced the party leadership shared his sentiments.
"They are just too busy right now with the respective swearing-in ceremonies to make a statement," Mohamad said.
"Even though I am labelled as a liberal in the party, we all have to accept that a big proportion of the people are non-Muslims," he said.
PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was quoted in yesterday's press reports as saying that DAP leaders should stop expressing unhappiness over PAS' aim to set up an Islamic state, adding that PAS had not forced the DAP to forge an alliance with it.
Mohamad declined to comment on Nik Aziz's statement.
He said he was saddened that former DAP secretary-general Lim Kit Siang and deputy chairman Karpal Singh were voted out of Parliament by the Chinese.
"The Chinese should not have unnecessarily punished Lim like that. He was a good leader who livened up the debates in Parliament," Mohamad said, adding that efforts should be made to return him to Parliament.
To a question, he welcomed the appointment of Kerk Kim Hock as the DAP's new secretary-general, adding that PAS would be able to work with the DAP's new generation of leaders.
Mohamad said he wanted the DAP to continue being a part of the Barisan Alternatif so that the co-operation between DAP and PAS could continue.
"However, I also accept that the DAP has a right to decide on its own," he said.
He said he was motivated to make the statement because of what he claimed were "continuous attempts by the mainstream media to frighten non-Muslims over PAS, and vice-versa."