M'sian party prepared to withdraw from alliance

Kuala Terengganu (The Star/ANN) - Pan-Islamic Party (PAS) has no qualms about leaving Pakatan Rakyat (coalition) if its alliance with the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and People's Justice Party (PKR) does not benefit Islam and the Malays, party president Abdul Hadi Awang said.

"If being in the alliance is a loss to PAS, we will leave. No doubt about it.

"But until today, PAS remains with Pakatan, which accepts the Federal Constitution that places Islam as the country's official religion and Malay as the national language besides recognising bumiputra (indigenous people) rights and the monarchy," he said at a ceramah in Kuala Nerus near here on Saturday night.

PAS recently clashed with its partners over a Syura Council ruling that the kalimah Allah cannot be used in the Malay version of the Bible.

There had been demonstrations and street protests against opposition leaders Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh and Lim Guan Eng over their insistence that the word "Allah" should be allowed in non-Islamic texts.

Abdul Hadi, who is Marang MP and Rhu Rendang assemblyman, said PAS' relations with the DAP and PKR that was based on tahalluf siyasi (an Arabic term to mean an agreement based on political interest) had strengthened the Malays and Islam.

"We have seen a paradigm shift among voters, as reflected in the victories of Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (from PAS) and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh (PKR), who contested and won against non-Muslim candidates.

"It is proof that we have the support of both Muslim and non-Muslim voters," he said.

Regarding a call to PAS to abide by the Pakatan decision on the "Allah" issue made by Karpal, Abdul Hadi said the DAP national chairman should meet him personally rather than go to the media on the matter, adding that he would not take into account any comment made by Karpal in the media.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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