KUCHING, March 31 — Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Baru is alarmed that PAS is seeking a constitutional amendment to make it a prerequisite for the prime minister to be a Muslim, said its information chief Andrew Bugie.
In a statement yesterday, Andrew said PBDS joins the chorus of criticisms against the proposal made by PAS senator and information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin, as this would deny the rights of non-Muslim Malaysians.
He pointed out that in any country practising the principles of democracy, the concept of ‘commanding the support of the majority’ is the basis in appointing the president or a prime minister.
“In making such a call, not only is Khairil ignorant of the multiracial make-up of the country but he and his party is exhibiting intolerance for non-Muslim Malaysians,” said Andrew in the statement.
He added PBDS also views the proposal by the PAS senator as against the spirit of the formation of Malaysia and the freedom of religion, which was one of the guarantees given to Sarawakians by Malaysia’s founding prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
“PBDS wishes to remind Khairil Nizam that the sanctity of Islam is protected by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. PBDS is questioning that in making such a proposal, is Khairil suggesting that the Agong and other Islamic bodies are not sufficient in protecting the sanctity of Islam?
“PBDS wishes to remind Khairil and PAS that there is no provision in the Federal Constitution that says race and religion is a qualification to assume the Prime Minister post,” he said.
He pointed out PBDS opined that Malaysia’s parliamentary system would be severely compromised if the proposal was implemented.
“Khairil and PAS are riding on religion to win the votes of the Malay Muslims.
“As it is now, the factors of race, religion and regionalism are divisive enough for this country,” he said.
If PAS and its extremist leaders have no respect at all on the very foundation upon which this country was formed, he said there is no more valid reason for Sabah and Sarawak to remain as part of the Malaysian Federation.
In a Facebook post last week, Khairil said his suggestion was made to protect and preserve the sanctity of Islam as the religion of the federation.
He said the state constitutions of Terengganu, Kedah, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang also stipulated that only a Muslim could hold the post of menteri besar. — Borneo Post