PAS’ VICTORY SHOWS THE EFFECTIVENESS OF RACE/RELIGION-BASED POLITICS IN MALAYSIA

Is there a concern for Singapore?

Malaysia’s elections happened over the weekend. Even if you haven’t been following it closely, I’m sure you’ve come across the various high profile losses by ex-PM Mahathir and their former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin. In fact, ex-PM Mahathir AND his son both lost their elections deposit. Seems like Malaysia may be seeing a new age. Unfortunately, the new age doesn’t look so good.

What’s most alarming is that PAS won the most number of seats.

Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS, or Malaysian Islamic Party) is a part of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition. Their electoral base are largely in Malaysia’s rural and conservative northern and eastern coasts. Internationally, PAS is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is a party that plays on race and religion to get their votes. Most of their members (including their president Abdul Hadi Awang) are Malay nationalists. Their long term goal is to create an Islamic state in Malaysia. PAS President Hadi once said that people who are still pushing for English language in Malaysia were “stuck in a colonial mindset” and that “they are behaving like slaves to the former colonial masters despite having been freed from their clutches.”

This party supports the Taliban

After the Taliban took over Kabul and established an Islamic theocracy in Afghanistan, PAS international affairs and external relations committee chairman, Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi (also the son of the incumbent PAS president), congratulated the Islamist militant group for “successfully achieving victory for their country” on Twitter and Facebook, stating its liberation from Western powers.

Current PAS president Hadi also often showed his support for the Taliban. He is of the opinion that the Western media are at fault for making false accusations against the Taliban. He even denies news about the Taliban oppressing girls and women, telling everyone that such claims are unsubstantiated, even after numerous evident news report about the oppression.

They also frequently use Singapore as a “bad example”

This is a party that thinks Singapore has swayed, that we shouldn’t be a country that embraces our mix of race and religion. They are still angry with Lee Kuan Yew’s attempt at trying to fight for a Malaysian Malaysia and not a Malay Malaysia.

Combine their Malay Nationalism (please know that this is different from Malaysian Nationalism), with their trust in the Taliban, their victory is very worrying. It makes me wonder if Malaysians are voting for the PAS because they hold similar views.

What type of decisions will these leaders make, especially when it concerns Singapore?

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