Mps Roast Hadi Over Claims Non Muslims Majority Behind Corruption
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has garnered brickbats over his claim that non-Muslims and non-bumiputera make up the bulk of the "roots of corruption" in the country.
Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil called it a “wild allegation” that the PAS leader did not substantiate.
"Where did he get these figures from? These sweeping statements are really wild allegations, and unjustifiable. MACC does not release a breakdown in ethnicity of those it has arrested in relation to corrupt practices.
"Even if we were to take the biggest and most scandalous of cases - 1MDB - the principal decision maker was Najib Abdul Razak, a Malay-Muslim who held the highest of public offices and is now being adjudicated in the highest court of the land,” he told Malaysiakini.
Fahmi said in the case of the latest big scandal - littoral combat ship (LCS) - those involved in betraying the navy (which Malays make up a super majority) are also Malay, referring to Najib and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s alleged involvement in the issue. Najib is said to have ignored the navy’s concerns in the LCS procurement process.
PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil“We see that again it is a case of ‘harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi’. We must stop laying the blame on others,” he added, referring to a Malay saying which means those who are supposed to be protectors are causing the most damage instead.
Playing up racial sentiment
Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said that Hadi's condemnation of corruption is flawed in two aspects.
"He attempts to racialise it to justify his sectarian Malay-Muslim politics that is a betrayal to the struggles of (former PAS leaders) Burhanuddin Helmy and Nik Aziz Nik Mat. He does not provide facts or figures, merely fanning sentiments.
"Corruption is not about race or religion, but is largely a crime of the elites over ordinary Malaysians," the PKR lawmaker added.
Nik Nazmi took aim at Hadi saying that the Marang MP had prioritised his own selfish interests over that of the people.
PKR’s Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad"PAS was working with Umno in 2018 and then with Bersatu in 2020. He doesn't mind that this move has confused his members on the ground, weakened PAS' position as an alternative to these parties in the Malay heartlands and most fundamentally, betrayed the struggle of the party.
"It is also an attempt to avoid accountability when questions of corruption emerge in PAS-governed states and ministries," he added.
Hadi made his controversial claim on Facebook last Friday saying: "If we want to deal with corruption we must first tackle it from the grassroots.
“If not it will eventually become a disease. These groups who chase illicit gains are the ones who eventually control the economy.
"They then damage our politics as they are the roots for corruption and the majority of them are non-Muslims and non-bumiputra."
The PAS leader also went on to say that qualifications were not important compared to the path of integrity one could lead as a Muslim.
Unite, not divide
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii reminded Hadi that leaders are supposed to instil a sense of patriotism and belonging to all Malaysians.
DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii"Instead we have the top leader from PAS inciting division and creating animosity among races.
"While we all agree that the fight against corruption is important, it is not an issue of race but rather greed and systemic and institutional problems in our country that allows such practices to be rampant,” he said.
The DAP lawmaker urged Hadi to unite all against corruption instead of making blanket presumptive statements that may cause division.
"Imagine if a non-Muslim made similar insults, police will likely be knocking down their doors at 4am," Yii said, adding that based on such remarks Hadi had no right to be part of mainstream politics or be in a position of power.
Yii’s party colleague Abdul Aziz Bari said that Hadi's remarks were racist nonsense.
"Corruption is a scourge, a problem in many countries over the ages throughout history and not confined to Muslims or non-Muslims.
"The comments underline PAS as a political party that’s detached from reality and unfit to govern. As a tok guru (teacher) Hadi ought to stick to the true teachings of Islam rather than playing racial politics," the Tebing Tinggi assemblyperson added.
Tanjung Malim MP Chang Lih Kang also weighed in, calling Hadi ignorant and irresponsible in making such inaccurate remarks.
"People from all races and religions are involved in corruption. If Hadi wants to find out which community makes up the bulk of it, he should look at the court records and reveal who are those being charged and convicted of corruption charges.
"His comment on corruption shows that he doesn’t even understand the issue, let alone want to resolve it,” Chang said.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok also took Hadi to task.
DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa KokShe said under Hadi’s leadership, PAS has gone against its founding principles and policies, becoming an extremist party instead.
"After PAS failed to capture federal power in GE14, it has been collaborating with Umno to fan racial and religious sentiment in the Malay-Muslim community.
“This is just another illogical and nonsensical statement that reflects the loss of direction and lack of rational arguments by Hadi, who has become obsolete in politics," she told Malaysiakini. - Mkini
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