Sunday, August 17, 2008

PAS Abandons Gambling, Alcohol Ban Plans

Malaysia's conservative Islamic party PAS has shelved a proposal to ban gambling and restrict alcohol sales in the four states it rules with its political allies.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) is part of a three-member opposition alliance which made huge strides in March elections, wresting five states and a third of parliamentary seats from the ruling coalition.

Hardliners in the party have chafed at the moderate stance promoted by its alliance partners, including the multi-racial Keadilan and the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party.

But PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said at the party's annual meeting that it would not pursue the campaign against gambling and alcohol demanded by influential party scholars, which would have affected much of Kuala Lumpur.

"Liquor is allowed by their religion ... so we allow them," Abdul Hadi was quoted as saying at the weekend talks by PAS online news portal "Siasah".

"We have to understand the (political) reality that we are part of an alliance and we do not have absolute power. So under such a government we focus on universal Islamic values like fighting corruption," he said.

Malaysia's population is dominated by Muslim Malays, living alongside large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities who are concerned over rising "Islamisation" of the country.

In the northeastern state of Kelantan, which PAS rules in its own right, it has banned gambling, restricted the sale of alcohol and requires men and women to queue in separate lines at shops.

Kelantan authorities periodically hit the headlines with attempts to ban women from wearing heavy make-up, skimpy clothes and high heels.

Mohamad Daud Iraqi, head of the PAS Islamic scholars group, has said the four other opposition-held states -- Penang, Perak, Kedah and Selangor which surrounds the capital -- should emulate Kelantan's Islamic laws.

"For starters, states under the opposition alliance can reduce the number of gambling premises as gambling is strictly prohibited by all religions," he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times last week.

"Permits or licences to sell alcohol should either be limited or only allowed for areas inhabited by non-Muslims," he said.

PAS is trying to revamp its hardline image and capture support among ethnic Chinese and Indian communities after it was trounced in 2004 elections.

Its defeat then was seen as a vote against the party's fundamentalist approach, but its new progressive stance paid dividends in the March elections when it enjoyed support even from urban Chinese and Indian voters. (AFP)

***** Nice to read but what guarantee is there that the very same PAS leaders will not call for the establishment of an Islamic state next week? Once bitten twice shy.

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Anonymous Purple Haze said...

Once again, PAS is showing that it has thought out a strategy to endear itself to the population in general. This may lead to schisms within the party, as seen in the Bar Council protest and recent PP by election.

Presumably, Tok Guru has faith in this path. It is ultimately up to Malaysians to make an informed choice in a democratic way.

3:27 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam is the saviour. PAS strive for the Islamic system to save all, not just the Malays.

3:56 PM GMT+8  
Blogger chineng said...

With PAS more liberal thinking, PR's solidity will be further strengthened. Malaysians will soon realize the dream of a PR vs BN 2 party democratic country. It augers well for this great country in the month of Merdeka.

5:21 PM GMT+8  
Blogger chineng said...

With PAS more liberal thinking, PR's solidity will be further strengthened. Malaysians will soon realize the dream of a PR vs BN 2 party democratic country. It augers well for this great country in the month of Merdeka.

5:22 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least they are trying. They understand that it was not only the Malays/Muslims who supported them in the last GE.
Definately not like UMNO!

7:17 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Sheila said...


4:45 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Sheila said...

Just read your article on Alcohol.
While it appears to be a worldwide
problem, please also remember this.
All alcohol contains sufficient drug power, to deal out many health afflictions, where 99% of them have NO cure, and stay for the rest of ones life!!!
When I was a drinker, I always wondered 'Why in the world was it illegal?.....Could I get another one?'.........It has got to be one of the most world wide accepted & dangerous narcotic around. And yet some people even let their children participate !?!?!
I wish you all the best in this !
You're going to need it, I'm sure !

4:51 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good !at last they are listening and accomadating.The country is varied and if they allow and not force their intentions on others then their islamic agendas will not alarm us one bit.
Just dont play God and everything is okay.
Pas have to sell and that is TOLERANCE and the rest is easy.

11:59 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PAS is creepily playing with rakyat's sentiments to gain more support. Once they get it they will reveal their true colors of religious extremism.

12:12 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

?? SO fishy? In Selangor and KL avril lavigne concert aso want to make so much noise... and now they dropping alcohol and gambling ban...??? PAS become democratic?? But not all of PAS will be happy, I'm sure...

12:57 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous CoffeeMug said...

a populist move... and this one really contradicts with what they stands for...(?!!!). I;m sure this has raised not a few but many eyebrows!
Maybe they temselves are not that sure anymore with what they stand for.

4:27 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous antijihad said...

PAS get lost. We dun want your "holier than us" shit.

10:28 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous antijihad said...

never trust islamists!

10:30 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aiya,PAS will be PAS.Please remember in 1998 where the RAKYAT kicked them out.In 2008 we voted because of PAKATAN not for PAS.Next general election just KICK them out.We Malays also dont vote for PAS, dont worry.We do not want Malaysia to be a TALIBAN country.CHEERS

3:24 PM GMT+8  

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