PETALING JAYA: Dr Halimah Ali, the Pas candidate for the Seri Setia by-election, has voiced her support for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) aim to champion issues related to Islam.
Dr Halimah said this reflects well on Pas, whom she said is a factor behind why other parties are also championing the same issue.
“Pas has long championed and upheld Islam in Malaysia. So when other parties like PH issue such statements, I see it as proof that our struggle is bearing fruit.
“It’s good if other parties are also taking up the mantle of upholding Islamic issues. That’s what we want, for others to also work towards doing good,” she told reporters at a Hari Raya Aidiladha event at di Masjid Nurul Yaqin, here on Friday.
She was commenting on a statement by PH candidate Halimey Abu Bakar on PH’s stand that it also upheld Islamic issues.
Dr Halimah however noted that PH is only continuing the initiative she had started when she was the Education, Higher Education and Human Capital Selangor exco member, especially on building religious schools in the state.
“What’s being done now is a continuation of what we had done before. In fact, issues in Selangor include the lack of Religious Secondary Schools (SMA).
“That was when we saw the setup of Maahad Integrasi Tahfiz Sains (MITS) Selangor, in Alam Impian, Sepang, and Pandan with the aim of having one MITS in each district, but even that isn’t enough.
“I myself took the initiative to persuade the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) to add more SMAs in the state. So they (PH) are not really doing anything new,” she said.
Dr Halimah explained that the RM6 million allocation for ‘sekolah agama rakyat’ was under her portfolio when the initial budget was tabled in 2009.
The Seri Setia by-election on Sept 8 will see Halimey take on Pas candidate Dr Halimah Ali.
The Seri Setia seat fell vacant after its incumbent, Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin, died of cancer on Aug 2. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd