03/14/2019 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – Several lawmakers and officials in Malaysia, including Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen, have criticized the formalized alliance of two of Malaysia’s largest political parties, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), claiming that such union could lead to Malaysia becoming a Taliban state.
The two parties announced their formalized political cooperation on March 5, which could affect almost two-thirds of the Malay electorate. An inter-faith group in the country, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), issued a statement expressing its concern that this alliance would diminish non-Muslim rights in Malaysia on March 9.
Democratic Action Party (DAP) deputy secretary-general Nga Kor Ming also stated last week during a rally that the country was at risk of becoming like Afghanistan while under the Taliban’s rule should the PAS-UMNO partnership gain traction.
In response to Nga’s comment, Chong agreed and said “The cooperation of PAS and Umno is not only a threat to Pakatan Harapan [current ruling political coalition], but also a threat to our country.” He went on to say, “As we can see, from the propaganda they advocated in the past two by-elections, they are going along racial and religious issues.”
Both parties have held the views that Malaysia must be governed by Islam as practiced. They envision an Islamic theocratic state and desire Sharia’ law to be higher than the Malaysian constitution. Their aim is to unite the Malay-Muslims to face the threats of the non-Muslims.
For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org