By Mazlinda Mahmood
(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh yesterday slammed Pas Youth for suggesting that the Islamist party use the Pakatan Rakyat as a springboard to an Islamic state. Reiterating his stand, Karpal said Pas should accept the provision in the Federal Constitution and judicial pronouncement by the Supreme Court in 1988 that Malaysia was a secular state and not an Islamic one.
He was responding to Kelantan Pas Youth's support for Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakub's proposal that Pas become the backbone of the new opposition coalition to realise the objective of establishing an Islamic state. Yesterday, the Kedah and Terengganu Pas Youth echoed Kelantan's position, with national Youth vice-head Azman Shapawi Abdul Rani saying the party should anchor the coalition as it had been in existence for much longer than Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the DAP.
"Pas should be realistic and practical to ensure that the Pakatan Rakyat is not derailed by public statements in the nature of wanting to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state," Karpal said. "In any event, Pas has only 23 seats to the DAP's 28 and PKR's 31. I cannot see how Pas can make such a claim," he said.
In Kedah, Pas Youth head Musaddak Ahmad said he was confident of Pas' ability to lead the coalition by highlighting the Islamic concept in national administration.
"As such, Pas should become the backbone of the coalition to realise the objective of forming an Islamic state," he said.
PKR vice-president Mohamad Azmin Ali said the formation of Pakatan Rakyat was based on a common agenda and the Islamic state was not part of it.
"The Islamic state was not one of the issues discussed and agreed upon by the top leadership, even by Pas, as the consensus was to work on a common platform," he said.
Azmin said Pas had the right to express its views.
"But, ultimately, the top leadership must agree on the basis for the formation of the new alliance and the fact remains that the coalition must work based on consensus and principles which have been agreed upon by all parties."