Saturday 11 June 2011

PAS: Umno's claim of DAP meddling insults the king

Umno has insulted the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by suggesting that the DAP has interfered in the Penang Islamic Affairs Council (MAIPP), resulting in direct elections for members of mosque committees in the state, said a PAS leader today.

PAS Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Umno's accusation was 'over the top' and it had shown disrespect to the 15 Muslim members of MAIPP, as there is no representative from DAP in the council.

NONEMujahid (right), who is also a PAS executive committee member, said that MAIPP would seek the approval of the Agong for the finalised version of the elected mosque committees before they are appointed.

“This has nothing to do with DAP. Do they (Umno) mean to say that the 15 members in MAIPP have no brains or that they have no minds of their own?” he queried in Penang today.

The procedures adopted by MAIPP at this year's mosque election were also in accordance with the law, said Mujahid, so the question of whether this has obtained the approval of the king does not arise.

However, to avoid any hanky-panky in the election process which starts this week and runs until mid-July, MAIPP will designate four observers to oversee the process, added Mujahid.

And PAS, he stressed, would assist MAIPP to explain the whole idea and process behind the polling.

NONEMujahid was referring to a front-page report by Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, which accused the DAP of interfering in MAIPP's decisions to conduct direct elections in mosques, which the party has denied.

The report titled 'Penang DAP government decides on the election of mosque committees in the state', had warned that partisan politics would gradually seep into the committees if this method was fully implemented next year.

The Malay language daily also questioned whether this decision by MAIPP has received the blessings of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tunku Mizan Zainal Abidin as the head of Islamic affairs in the state.

'Returning power to the people'

Mujahid lamented that the issue, which was part of Pakatan Rakyat's reforms at all levels of society and administration, has been exploited by Umno and certain quarters to creat confusion to split the Muslim Malay community.

“What we want is simple - to return power to the people. In the past, they had no say and they were not aware of their responsibility to propose the best qualified person to sit on their mosque's 15-member committee,” said Mujahid.

“In the past, Umno just gave its own name list to MAIPP, while those who attend the mosques are not aware of who is selected,” he added.

“This time we try to strike a balance and give the kampung folk the space to select their own committees, which would include at least two women, that's the quota,” he stressed.

On whether this would compromise Pakatan's influence in the mosques, Mujahid said it was more important to put a proper system in place, than to be concerned about whether it was Umno or Pakatan members who sit on the committee.

He added that PAS regretted that Umno continues to slander and exploit the issue when Pakatan was trying its best to exercise its responsibility to promote a democractic process.

“What Umno says (about DAP's interference) is all rubbish. We want reforms and are prepared for the consequences and are willing to answer for any concerns arising out of this issue,” he said.

“Umno, please do not be so desperate that you are willing to compromise the position of the mosque committees and members... please stop it,” he told the party's arch-rival.

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