RANTAU, April 8 — The attempt to compare the Umno-PAS alliance to the Taliban in Afghanistan is absurd, Umno candidate for the upcoming by-election Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan argued.
He said that under the BN government, Malaysia was widely recognised by the international community as one of the most effective nations in the world when it came to countering religious extremism.
“We caught Daesh agents, al-Qaeda agents. We of all people have never wanted nor desired to see this country plunged into the throes of extremist teachings,” said the acting party president known as Tok Mat at an event organised by BN Youth in Felda Sendayan.
Referring to PAS, he said in the five terms or over 25 years of ruling Kelantan, non-Muslims there have led tranquil and undisturbed lives.
“Kelantan even has the biggest reclining statue of Gautama Buddha in South-East Asia. This high religious tolerance means there is no such thing as us wanting to convert Malaysia into a Taliban state where women are not even permitted to study in schools.
“In truth this claim by Pakatan Harapan, especially DAP, was made because they are frightened by our cooperation. Our agenda is for the sake of the Islamic Ummah,” Tok Mat said.
He urged the other BN component parties of MCA and MIC as well as PAS to keep their focus on reorganising their internal workings and strategies, in the years leading up to the 15th general election.
“To our non-Malay and non-Muslim friends, do not worry about the unity agenda. The likes of (Finance Minister) Lim Guan Eng claim the co-operation is tantamount to declaring war against you, but who ever said anything about war?
“Instead when the Malays are united together the nation is at peace, something the country’s history has proven since Independence. The non-Malays benefit from this political stability,” Tok Mat said.
“With such stability, foreign investors are drawn to Malaysia and thereby strengthening the national economy.
“This is the surest way to attract them, since stability is an indicator they can be confident in Malaysia where their money and investment is safe,” he said.
Tok Mat had made a surprise appearance at the event, which featured speakers including Umno Youth leader Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, his MCA and MIC counterparts Nicole Wong Siaw Ting and R. Thinalan respectively, as well as PAS Youth leader Muhamad Khalil Abdul Hadi.
The by-election, which takes place on April 13, will see Tok Mat square off against PKR’s Dr S. Streram, and independent candidates Mohd Nor Yasir and Malar Rajaram in a four-corner fight.