Malaysia: No mention of Islamic state in PAS manifesto for next poll, party targets bread-and-butter issues

  • Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) on 12 Mar 18 said that its election manifesto will not mention the controversial pledge to turn Malaysia into an “Islamic state” and will instead mainly address woes faced by many Malaysians, including cost-of-living issues, reducing the income gap between rural and urban areas and increasing disposable income.
  • Leaders of the Islamist party told a news conference that it would also ensure that the country’s legal and administrative systems follow “the requirements of the syariah” (Islamic law) as well as return state rights which they said had been taken away by the federal government.
  • “The main issues faced by the majority of the people are cost of living, security and national unity,” said PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man after the party’s monthly meeting. “These issues affect both Muslims and non-Muslims”.
  • The actual launching of the manifesto, entitled Malaysia Sejahtera (Harmonious Malaysia) will be on 18 Mar 18.
  • Asked whether PAS will mention the term “Islamic State” in its manifesto, party secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said: “We are not using the terminology. Our approach is about a harmonious community… following God’s laws”.
  • This would be a departure from previous elections when PAS openly championed turning Malaysia into an “Islamic state”, scaring off non-Muslim voters.
  • PAS on 12 Mar 18 also confirmed that it would form a so-called “third force” in the coming election to contest against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and the opposition pact, Pakatan Harapan (PH).

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