I do not believe in specific individuals or organizations. I believe in institutions to make everybody honest, so-to-speak. I truly believe for governance in Malaysia to improve, political competition must flourish at the federal level. The first step is to have Barisan Nasional served some time in the opposition.

While the blood reference is excessive, the spirit of Jefferson’s “[t]he tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” underlines the need for BN to lose its political power. It is about bloodletting. Power corrupts whoever whom holds it for too long. Hopefully, the bloodletting will flush out the worst within the ranks of BN. They will need to improve and be better than its rivals in order to survive. This applies to everybody as well. The competitive force will keep everybody on their toes.

A near loss is not enough. The so-called Pekan lesson is not good enough. Nobody truly remembers it because it was merely a near miss. BN has to lose.

Despite my harsh criticism of BN, I am not against BN per se. At least, not in the last year or so. I think I have grown out of that pure anti-BN sentiment. Now, it is simply an institutional requirement for me.

Pakatan Rakyat is the obvious candidate to replace BN. Within democratic institutional dynamics, I am supportive of PR.

Since PAS is an essential member of PR, I have discovered that somehow I am subconsciously trying to be more mild and measured in my criticism against PAS. This is all the more important because I increasingly see PKR as the most incapable of the lot in PR. PAS is the party that needs to pick up that slack. I do not believe DAP can do that in the short run. DAP needs to widen its base before it can cover for PKR.

And really, PAS has been moving to the center now, much to my delight. Obviously, my positions are very far from PAS in many ways but the distance is somewhat narrowing. So, it is not just that I am giving PAS a blind eye, there is also less for me to criticize on.

Until this week.

What happened in Kedah with respect to Ramadan dan entertainment outlets reminds me why I am distrustful of PAS in the first place. The PAS-led Kedah government has decreed that several types of entertainment outlets need to close during Ramadan, which is the Muslim holy month.

This is an effort at moral policing.

I reject moral policing through and through and I do not want to be voting for PAS to only to have them biting me. I do not mean to rear a boa that will swallow me whole later.

Voting for PAS has always been problematic for me. I voted for them in the last election. I am not so sure for the next election.

A friend has suggested that I change my address to solve my problem. That is really a creative way addressing it but it does not solve it. It only circumvents it. If PAS becomes part of the federal government, no amount of address changing will solve my problem, unless I move abroad again.

I thought the institutional requirement argument would be good enough for me to vote for PAS. But then I do not want to change from one bad scenario to another. I want a better scenario. I do not want to shortchange myself by eliminating choice. I do not want to guarantee PAS my vote.

I am a nobody. I realize that. So, I should make the following demand with humility. Nevertheless, for me to vote for PAS in the next round, I will need a guarantee from PAS that such moral policing will not happen.

Or maybe, a guarantee from PR is enough. Or least, from either PKR or DAP. Maybe I cannot rely on PKR due to how they have argued that non-Muslims need not worried if hudud is implemented. I am not impressed with that. Besides, their words are becoming less and less of value to me. Only BN has worse reputation.

So, under a system of consensus, I am looking at DAP. I am looking at that one golden vote to prevent the moral police from roaming the streets. If DAP can guarantee the existence such consensus system requiring unanimous agreement (which exists, I think), and that they can guarantee that they will always oppose moral policing on anybody, Muslims or non-Muslims alike, then I will vote for PAS in the next general election.

Until then, I will not, unless someone moderate contests in my area.

(Dr. Lo’ Lo’, the current Parliamentarian for Titiwangsa, will not do. I have seen her debated in the Parliament while I was working with a Member of Parliament in the last few months. I can say that I am not her greatest fan. But I guess, Dr. Lo’ Lo’ will not be contesting the next time around due to her health, hence the point on a moderate contesting. As far as her health is concerned, I wish her well.)

5 Responses to “[2397] Reminded of my misgiving of PAS”

  1. on 17 Jul 2011 at 10:14 Bobby

    This is merely an effort by PAS to take the “moral high ground”, i.e. to win the rural votes.
    I’ve learned that in this world, that there are real issues and “distractions”.
    This, to me, is a distraction.
    It will not deter me from voting for PAS, although I’m a non-Muslim and someone who’s definitely NOT a teetotaler.
    The ideal situation would be like what happens in Kelantan.
    I can eat my bak kut teh and drink until I’m drunk, but my Muslim friends would not be able to join me if they wanted to sin.
    The real enemy is not PAS, it’s JAWI,JAIS and the overzealous “holier than thou” gang.
    It’s only a little silly that PAS thinks they can outdo these zealots in this aspect.

  2. on 17 Jul 2011 at 10:39 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Like I said, we are all selfish. You said your ideal situation is one where moral policing is not imposed on you. You don’t care if it’s imposed on others. You’re good with it as long as you’re not covered by it. I don’t share your enthusiasm on discrimination. That exactly what PKR said some time ago and as I’ve written, I disagreed with it.

    Besides, it’s simplistic to say it’s JAWI/JAIS/etc not PAS. The government controls these Islamic enforcing agencies and they do it within the power granted or condoned by the government. To brush it aside and say it’s not PAS and really the Islamic departments ignores what just happened in Kedah (and Selangor just months ago). It also reflects your position on moral policing.

  3. on 17 Jul 2011 at 14:15 Bobby

    Whoa, hang on there, soldier.
    Slight miscomm here.
    I mispelled.
    I meant to say,”their ideal situation”.
    I DO care if it’s imposed on others.
    I would very much……dammit….let’s get clear.
    ok, let’s get this out in the open, even if it gets me a death threat like Malik Imtiaz.

    1. I do NOT appreciate moral policing. I think it’s ridiculous that Muslims here are “policed” like they aren’t allowed to sin.

    2. I believe that Lina Joy should have freedom of religion, even if murtad means she’ll go to hell in Islamic terms.

    3. I believe that body snatching should be outlawed.
    My uncle’s body had to be hidden because he was buried in a Christian cemetery, just because he became Sulaiman by virtue of marriage.
    As a kid, I used to be puzzled why he had to hide during Ramadan while eating lunch. I later understood why, but I couldn’t fathom why busybodies like our religious authorities would want to stop people from not fasting if they didn’t really want to.
    To me, the more you police, the “crazier” the mentality becomes.
    It’s almost like what happened during Bersih. It wouldn’t have been that big an event if BN didn’t clamp down so hard.
    I have Muslim friends who eat pork and drink alcohol, and yet they escape censure because they are the children of somebody high up.
    Now, tell me, where is the fairness in all this?
    I’m not saying my friends should be persecuted, but all I’m saying is that moral policing is a big no and a step backward for our country as a whole.
    Perhaps we should learn from Turkey.

  4. on 17 Jul 2011 at 23:24 ABC

    The ban has been lifted. And Dr Lo’Lo’ have just passed away.

  5. on 17 Jul 2011 at 23:35 Hafiz Noor Shams

    The ban hasn’t been lifted. It is now restricted to Muslims.

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