KUALA LUMPUR: The PAS Dewan Ulama has criticised coalition partners PKR and DAP for disrespecting the Islamist party’s views on the recent Oktoberfest beer festival held in Selangor, Utusan Malaysia reported.
Dewan Ulama acting deputy chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed reportedly said that the two parties’ failure to heed PAS’ stand on the matter was further complicating the spirit of cooperation within Pakatan Rakyat.
He also questioned the parties’ rejection of PAS’ objection, adding that it was as though the Islamist party did not have any power in the administration of the state.
“This is what we are unhappy about; we have power in Selangor, where the menteri besar is also a Muslim, and Islam has to be respected as the official religion of Malaysia.
“Our objection should be considered by our coalition partners, given that Selangor is held by the opposition pact, and not by DAP and PKR, especially when it involves sensitive matters such as a beer festival,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
PAS’ Dewan Ulama had slammed Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali, who it claimed did not give consideration to the party’s objections.
“They have to respect the culture of the east and Islam, which does not condone beer drinking being made into a festival and as a Pakatan component party, we voiced our disapproval.
“But it appears that the opinion of the clerics was not taken into consideration by the coalition partners, more so the menteri besar,” he told the Malay daily.
Oktoberfest began on Sept 24 here and was held in various locations in Selangor. It culminated in a grand event over last weekend.
PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said previously that the beer festival could not be stopped because Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious country, and that the festival was being organised by non-Muslims.
Several DAP and PKR leaders attended the event held at 1 Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya last Friday, including DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, PKR central committee member R Sivarasa, Bukit Gasing assemblyman R Rajiv and Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin.
Given the attendance of Pakatan leaders at the event last Friday, Mahfodz said that the Dewan Ulama would review the action of their coalition partners. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 15, 2014.