PAS Ulama chief vents at ruling rival party over Hadi’s Bill

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
PAS members are pictured at the 58th Dewan Pemuda PAS Muktamar in Alor Setar April 27, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

ALOR SETAR, April 27 — PAS' influential clerical wing today denounced Umno for not seeing though Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's Bill to raise Shariah sentencing limits, warning the rival party that it would incur divine retribution.

PAS Ulama chief Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed also accused the rival party of refusing to establish Shariah rule in Malaysia, which he then blamed for the myriad issues he said were befalling the country.

"What we have now is spiritual bankruptcy and destruction, an economic crisis, widespread vice and corruption.

"They have not learned that all this is the result of their refusal to govern through Islam," Mahfodz said in his opening speech of the wing's 63rd annual general assembly (muktamar) here.

Mahfodz's criticism today was a departure from the rapprochement based on Islam that he had espoused in the previous year's assembly.

Barisan Nasional decided prior to the tabling of Hadi’s private member’s Bill earlier this month that it would no longer adopt it as a government matter.

Today, Mahfodz said being outside BN and the Pakatan Harapan federal opposition pact allows PAS to push for Shariah rule without having to make any compromise.

He said this also meant any co-operation with former allies PKR and DAP would be on the Islamist party’s terms.

"What is the point of a pact if we have partners who belittle our Islamic agenda… it is something that we cannot bypass," he said.

PAS’s separation from the remaining federal opposition parties has raised the likelihood of multi-cornered contests in the next general election that are traditionally advantageous to the ruling BN.