Lauding return of federalism, PAS pushes Putrajaya for oil money

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (right) says federalism an important aspect of the country as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. ― Bernama pic
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (right) says federalism an important aspect of the country as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. ― Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, Sept 15 — PAS welcomed the federal government’s effort to revive federalism and said this would best be demonstrated by restoring oil royalty payments to Kelantan and Terengganu now governed by the Islamists.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said in his speech at the opening of his party’s annual muktamar that federalism an important aspect of the country as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“The statement made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is very positive towards reviving the spirit of federalism that was neglected in the past, and for that, we are thankful,” he said.

Abdul Hadi expressed hope the federal government will set aside political differences in assisting Kelantan and Terengganu, especially by funding its development, infrastructure needs and investment opportunities.

In June, it was reported that both states would again receive royalty payments for petroleum resources extracted from their territories as part of the Pakatan Harapan government’s electoral pledges.

Currently, the two states only receive an ex gratia in place of the royalty payments; Sabah and Sarawak enjoy five per cent royalties and are pushing for this to be increased to 20 per cent.

Hadi went on to claim that the Constitution and laws must be amended to elevate Islam to what he said was its intended role in the federation; the constitution now states that the faith is the religion of the federation.

“This also includes lifting the rights of the indigenous people and national language, as well as strengthening the governance and social justice in country,” he said.

During his speech, Abdul Hadi also set 10 directives for PAS members to adopt with a view of strengthening the party.

First and foremost was for all members to comprehend the theme of “Forefronting Islam” that emphasised the consistent reference to the religion as the basis for shaping the new political culture in line with the principles of “mature and prosperous politics”.

Next was the focus on “Tarbiyyah” or self improvement, which he said would add value to efforts such as recruitment as well as the management of human and financial capital.

Hadi also instructed the party’s Ulama, Youth and Muslimat wings to demonstrate greater self-drive in dealing with social issues surrounding the community.

“Ulama Wing need to be proactive as the spokesman of Muslim issues and intellectual discourse.

“Scholars must attract as many as possible the intellectuals and learned persons to be with PAS, besides the need to comprehend modern knowledge and expand their knowledge horizon,” he said.

Hadi made similar exhortations to the Muslimat and Youth chapters.

The PAS Supporters Club (DHPP) for non-Muslims must also bridge the gap with political parties and non-governmental organisation of all races, Hadi said.

The action plan also stress out the importance for all party members elected in public office to uphold the mandate given properly with high ethics and knowledge.

Abdul Hadi also directed party divisions and branches to have a “clear work programme” such as community activities in order to attract the public support towards PAS.

The party president lastly asked that members of PAS remain faithful to the true teachings of Islam, preserve the relationship with god and develop great personality with integrity and strong characters, while at the same time cultivating spiritual strength and deep understanding of knowledge.

Abdul Hadi also said that PAS shoulders the “huge” responsibility of conveying the message of islam to  Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

“PAS must enlighten the Muslim society to clarify the confusion that arises due to the ignorance of the true teachings of Islam.

“For the non-Muslim community, PAS members must reach our friends with the right picture of Islam and at the same time we ourselves must learn their needs,” he said.