This statement refers to the speech of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Deputy President Senator Datuk Chin Su Phin which was made during the Opening of LDP Women and Youth Annual Conference at Magellan Sutera Resort and Spa on Sunday, and which was published in a local newspaper yesterday.
In his speech, Datuk Chin had pointed out the recent Oktoberfest beer festival held in Selangor organized by the non-muslims which had been used as a tool by extremists to drive their own agendas. According to him, PAS had openly opposed the festival as well as the “I want to Touch A Dog” event and they even proposed in tabling the Private Members’ Bill to implement hudud law in Kelantan. Datuk Chin was reportedly to say that PAS’ political ideology had completely disregarded the feelings of other races in the diverse society in Malaysia.
I condemn the above statement. PAS is not an extremist party. When PAS opposed to the Octoberfest festival and the “I Want to Touch A Dog” event, it had valid reasons. In respect of the festival, PAS objected because Islam is the national religion and the event was big and open. It is on that basis PAS was against the festival. But PAS do not prohibit the non-muslims from drinking alcoholic drinks. Just look in Sabah, have we stopped the non-muslims from drinking alcoholic drinks? In Sabah, the prohibition to drink alcoholic drinks only applies to the muslims by virtue of 57(1) dan 57(2) Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1995. In respect of the “I Want to Touch A Dog” event, PAS has nothing against dogs. It is the way the event was conducted that raised concerned. Malaysian muslims traditionally follow the Shafie school of jurisprudence which has a stricter view of dogs. Hence, on that ground, touching a dog without valid reasons is not allowed for muslims. But if a dog is sick, thirsty or in grave danger such as drowning, muslims should and must help that dog even it involves physical contact. In our Prophet Muhammad’s sunnah, there is a story about a prostitute who was rewarded with heaven just because she gave water to a thirsty dog. In the event “I Want To Touch A Dog”, some muslims had done more than touching. They hugged dogs for no valid reasons. That should have not happened.
Datuk Chin must realize that it was not only PAS opposed the Octoberfest event. UMNO objected too. Selangor UMNO liaison chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar said that being a multi-racial country was not a reason to hold such event because it challenged the nation status as an Islamic nation, and it promoted alcoholic drinks to the muslim society in Malaysia. UMNO Youth exco member Dr Fathul Bari Mat Yahya also had quite similar view with a PAS leader, MP Temerloh Nasrudin Hasan. The former said that the festival should be held in an enclosed area and not in the open, while the latter said the festival should be done behind closed doors and not promoted as a festival. In respect of the “I Want to Touch A Dog’, even the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim), in reprimanding the organiser of the ‘I Want To Touch A Dog’ advised those involved to never again organise programmes that touch on the sensitivities of Muslims. Selangor and Pahang muftis also shared the same sentiment. As to PAS’ proposal to table the Private Members’ Bill to implement hudud law in Kelantan, UMNO had proposed the establishment of a national-level technical committee on hudud laws before PAS tables the said bill. Hence, should UMNO and those muftis be regarded as extremists too who had disregarded the feelings of other races in Malaysia?
Based on the above explanation, I hope Datuk Chin would be very careful to make any statement regarding PAS. Although he may not expressly label PAS as an extremist party or having extremist view, his statement indicates so impliedly.
PAS Sabah Deputy Commissioner III
17th November 2014