Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pas breaks own taboo to field first non-Muslim candidate

"Vijaya Kumar A/L Patmanathan" vijayakumar.p@my.panasonic.com

Good news, indeed !!!......... .....Hidup Johor !!!

ELECTION 2008: Pas breaks own taboo to field first non-Muslim candidate

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Posted by Raja Petra

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Kumutha Rahman looked nervous as pressmen, armed with notebooks and recorders, jostled through the crowd for an interview with her. The 29-year-old law graduate, who had just been named as the first non-Muslim candidate to be fielded by Pas, listened attentively to the questions hurled at her when Johor Pas announced their candidates at their headquarters in Batu Pahat.

KUMUTHA Rahman looked nervous as pressmen, armed with notebooks and recorders, jostled through the crowd for an interview with her.

The 29-year-old law graduate, who had just been named as the first non-Muslim candidate to be fielded by Pas, listened attentively to the questions hurled at her when Johor Pas announced their candidates at their headquarters in Batu Pahat.
She is contesting the Tiram state seat. But knowing the realities perhaps, Pas is fielding her under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat symbol based on the electoral pact the two parties have entered into.

Still, is she in for a culture shock? Will she be able to speak the language of Pas where Arabic phrases and Quranic verses matter most? Will she have to physically cover herself more than ever?

I know I wont feel alienated because I believe voters nowadays are open-minded, she said. I also know that Muslims and non-Muslims will be able to accept me.

A member of the one-month old Unity Bureau under the Johor non-Muslim Pas Supporters Club, Kumutha may be oblivious to the fact that she had broken the conservative Islamic party's 61-year-old tradition of only fielding Muslims as candidates.

I joined the club because I see that Pas is not bent on racialism. To me all races be they Malays, Chinese or Indians are all the same.

Making the announcement was Johor Pas commissioner Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed, returning to contest for the Bukit Serampang state seat, said the move signified Pas tolerance towards other races.

"We want everyone to know that Pas is not only restricted to Muslims. Even non-Muslims are welcomed in Pas, he said. That is why we have the Pas Supporters Club. Kumutha's candidacy is a proof of that ideal."

Pas will contest 34 state seats and nine parliamentary seats. The party had lost in all 37 state seats and 11 parliamentary constituencies it contested in the last general election. This time around, fresh faces made-up one-third of the candidates and none of the Pas Womens wing leaders.

Kumutha is contesting the Tiram state seat but would bear Parti Keadilan Rakyat's flag.

Ostensibly, the Johor Baru lass candidacy is to woo support for the Islamist party from non-Muslim voters in Tiram, especially the Indian vote which comprises 14.39 per cent of that areas voters.

However, even during the announcement there were murmurs of uncertainty heard amidst the applause following Kumutha's nomination.

The Tiram constituency is a Barisan Nasional stronghold. In the 2004 election, BN's Maulizan Bujang beat Pas' Roslani Sharif, by a margin of 15,595 votes and the coalition us expected to repeat the feat. - NEW STRAITS TIMES



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Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."

(Muttafaq 'alaih)

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