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Monday, June 15, 2009

Faux PAS

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Related posts (chronologically):
One step forward, Nineteen steps back
A challenge to Zulkifli's noggin

The effect of some mistakes are difficult to undo. Even if those mistakes were sincere errors (we are human, after all). Including, that big faux PAS of a resolution…

What’s more interesting will be the response from folks like Zulkifli Noordin, PAS-in-PKR-clothing MP for Kulim Bandar Baru (to whom Walski directed a challenge yet to be answered), who came out strongly in support of the resolution (and added a few more demands). Not to mention the numerous individuals and organizations that voiced support for the PAS call for Sisters In Islam (SIS) to be investigated and possibly banned.

One thing Walski will say, though – Khalid Samad’s willingness to admit that an oversight had been made is laudable.  
(Khalid Samad explanatory videos, and more, in the full post)

Malaysiakini released a two part video, during which Khalid Samad made a long-drawn explanation relating to the chronology of events that led to the resolution being passed, plus the actual intention of the resolution.

Part 1
Part 2

More importantly, he explains the real intent of the resolution, and the intended approach - both of which were nothing like how the resolution was presented, and subsequently viewed by just about anyone reading it.

Khalid’s biggest mistake – assuming that his directive to amend the wording would be carried out (at the end of Part 2). Walski doesn’t need to remind you what happens when you assume

Again, Walski reiterates what he’s mentioned before – there’s the PAS that its leadership envisions, and then there’s the PAS that is what its grassroots’ want. The two twains don’t seem to meet sometimes.

Be that as it may, for PAS to be accepted and acceptable to the general Malaysian populace, the perception of what the party is about is extremely important. The heavy-handed, authoritarian PAS of the grassroots’ idealism (as how Walski sees it), is not one that is going to be palatable for all Malaysians. Perhaps what the PAS grassroots needs to remember is that PAS is a POLITICAL party, and not God’s representatives and apostles.

The bottom line is that PAS is of the opinion that a number of stands that SIS has taken is not in line with PAS’s idea of what is Islamic, per what Khalid calls “mainstream” Islam. Which Walski feels is acceptable – it is their right to disagree.

If what PAS really wants is more engagement and dialog, that’s okay, too. What most people took offence to is the heavy-handed wording of the resolution, and the resulting projected perception that if it’s not the PAS way, then it’s the highway. Or worse.

Perceptions such as these, it must be said, is PAS’s own doing, as those are exactly the type of rhetoric we hear from its components and supporters.

Such a faux pas like the SIS resolution issue, and the fact that some of the party’s middle management thinking that the wording “wasn’t all that bad”, is not going to improve and elevate the party’s image one iota – admission of oversight, or not.