CYBERJAYA:) The Islamic part PAS and its allies in Gagasan Sejahtera have today launched their GE14 manifesto which pledges to empower Shariah and upgrade the Shariah courts in order to curb the vice in Malaysia and strengthen the provisions of Islam as the federation’s religion.
Present at the manifisto launch were PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, and the PAS-led pact Gagasan Sejahtera’s leaders, including component parties Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamad Badri Abd Rahman and secretary-general Tengku Mudzaffar Tengku Zaid; Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) president Abdul Kadir Mamat and deputy president Datuk Hashim Karim.
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, At the launch, rejected the idea that some people think Malaysia would become a theocracy or a Taliban country if the party took over.
“Some think that Malaysia will become a theocracy if Gagasan Sejahtera is in power. Even more unfortunate, there are those who think Malaysia will be a Taliban country. Non-Muslims are intimidated with such accusations,” he said.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has been trying to push for heavier Shariah punishments for long time.
He was proposing a Bill to increase the Shariah courts’ sentencing limits to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 lashes.
The current maximum penalties under the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 are three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine, and six lashes.
Asked about how he will apply Shariah law in a multi-racial society where non-Muslim Malaysians not supporting his move, Abdul Hadi said “Islam which encompasses religion and ideologies can be used in governing a diverse society.
“It is compulsory for us to be just to all citizens,” he told reporters at the launch, before citing his previous proposal of a Cabinet formed of both Muslims and non-Muslims.
“In Islam, we cannot forbid what is permissible in other religions such as alcohol, pork; whatever that is allowed in other religions, we can’t forbid, for the sake of taking care of the sensitivities between races,” local daily New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
Talking to the media, Abdul Hadi emphasized that Islam law is ” meant to educate and not to punish.”
“In laws related to Muslims, we cannot force non-Muslims to accept religious laws. As with no compulsion in religion, so religious laws cannot be imposed. If they have laws of their own choice, they can choose.
PAS manifesto also promises to make an end to corruption; amend laws that go against the concept of Islamic justice and denies citizens’ rights such as the Official Secrets Act, Prevention of Crime Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, and the Universities and University Colleges Act.