Forging Unity through A Benevolent State

Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang, 16 November 2012

The following is translation of the full text of the presidential address at the 58th PAS Muktamar held in Kota Bharu, November 16, 2012.

1. The Honourable Permanent Chairman, Mursyidul Am, Deputy Mursyidul Am, members of the Shura Council, the Deputy President, Vice Presidents, Chairpersons of the Ulama, Youth and Muslimat wings, the Secretary-General and Daily and Central Committee members, PAS State and Federal Territories Commissioners, executive councils of the wings, PAS Supporters Congress chairman and members, leaders and friends from Pakatan Rakyat, NGOs, print and electronic media personnel, all party representatives, observers, ladies and gentlemen.

2. Welcome to all the delegates and guests from across the country and afar. Welcome to those attending this muktamar for the first time as PAS members, ordinary people, artistes, laureates, sportspeople, academicians, former high-ranking public officials, corporate and society figures and all who wish to be with PAS in carrying the message of Islam in our country. Your attendance will surely enliven our muktamar and inject spirit into and promote closer bonds between us to uphold Islam as Allah’s gift to all when the world is asking to be rescued amid waves of humanitarian crisis in every field.

3. Our country is not an exception. Sufficient testimony to this is that UMNO, the backbone of Barisan Nasional, has been delinquent in fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities, has been breaking promises and has been clearly disrespecting the petroleum agreement in states to the extent of oppressing the majority of Muslims in the state of Kelantan and Terengganu by denying them the oil revenue Allah SWT has bestowed on them.

4. Our economic development is driven by a burdening debt amounting to RM502 billion, nearly 55% of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and a fiscal deficit of 15 consecutive years. This means that the UMNO-BN government has spent more than the country’s revenue for such a long period. Meanwhile, the World Bank has recognised Malaysia as one of the richest in resources per capita. Is this not an excellent example of the Barisan Nasional government’s spending? This is the reality that we are witnessing before our own eyes today. All these are done without considering the impact on the livelihood of future generations.

5. Frequently we are saddled by heavy scandals full of irregularities. The latest is in the 2011 Auditor-General’s Report, which revealed that the army camp living quarters project ran approximately RM1.3 billion over budget (RM3.21 billion as opposed to RM1.74 billion) due to weaknesses, not to mention the downside of a direct negotiation system, which drew criticism from the Auditor-General.

6. The overall political power for more than 50 years has been tarnished by people who deem themselves flawless and without weaknesses despite being exposed as committing oppression everywhere, and by a chaotic administration, an economic system without a sense of gratitude and using sweeteners, without real solutions, to entice people. This has led to widening abuses, vices and crimes large and small without law and regulation to educate people and frighten stubborn criminals.
7. We are in a continuously changing environment, even under a government which disguised themselves behind the most invincible iron wall and which will certainly come to an end in accordance with the natural cycle of rise ad fall of government. Allah has elevated government and has brought down goverment by His Power ad Wisdom in turn, as a test unto us, and we are taught that there is no permanent and absolute government besides the Government of Allah.

8. We must realise that politics is a critical dimension of human life and  a ‘test’ for the human race, to see whether they will establish a government which pleases Allah by upholding Islam (Justice) and which is fair to all. In this regard, PAS is extremely committed to drive change towards seeking Allah’s grace by holding Islam as its principle, with the elasticity-flexibility of an Islamic system suitable for all times and places, by referring to the Quran, the Sunnah, the consensus of the ulama and analogical reasoning, based on the tenets of the Sunnah wal-Jama‘ah and the guidance of Fiqhus-Siyasah – (Politics based o Islamic Jurisprudence) in its actions.

9. This is the core struggle of PAS after witnessing UMNO, the thrust party of Barisan Nasional, that has failed to uphold Islam and steep in corruption, which in fact displayed a bad example to people, not to mention the latest RM40 million political corruption in Sabah. power abuses, social injustices and so forth. UMNO has also failed to empower the Malays with Islam and to show an example of true Islam to the people, leaving Muslims in this country to be challenged, belittled ad mocked by MCA leaders, a close ally of Umno.
10. At the same time,  Umno has not elevated the position of Ulama that has joined their rank but in fact reduced them as ‘rubber-stamp’ for their many unislamic actions. PAS, in contrast, institutionalised the role o Ulama, in the arrangement of the ‘Leadership of Ulama’ which serves as a ‘gatekeeper’ to ensure the “Islamicity or Shariah-compliant” of our actions; policy and programmes. PAS members rightfully must be different from Umno, as they are expected to live-up to demands of the “Objectives of Syariah” (Maqasid Syariah) and not to amass wealth through misuse and abuse of power.

Theme of the Muktamar
11. Today PAS continues its missionary work (da‘wah), its educating (tarbiyah) and its politics, inviting people in the language they easily understand. In the last muktamar, we put forward the theme ‘Developing a Benevolent Nation’. Many of our opponents and observers misunderstood it to the extent of making open statements accusing PAS of deviating from the goal of struggling to uphold Islam. They made these assumptions because they did not understand the language of the Qur’an and were influenced by the foreign term ‘welfare state’, which conveys a narrow meaning of welfare.

12. For this 58th muktamar, the theme is ‘Forging Unity through a Benevolent State’, as unity among people has become the latest challenge across the globe, in every country, among all nations and peoples. Unity in our country cannot exist with the 1Malaysia slogan if it is with racism and deeds which pressure the multi-faith and multiracial people of this country. Our purpose in Islam is solidarity and mercy, the final message at the end of the Prophet’s time, a message which is different from that of the messengers before him.

Allah says: And We have not sent you [O Muhammad] except as a mercy to the worlds. (Al-Anbiya’:107)

13. The comprehensive teachings of Islam are described as being benevolent. Read and understand. Allah says: And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful. (Ali ‘Imran:104)

14. The Quranic exegesis have stressed that الخير (benevolence) is carried throughout the Islamic teachings and executed by the Prophet Muhammad with an Islamic meaning which is seamless and comprehensive. The Quran and Sunnah describe this in detail.

Allah says: So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (Az-Zalzalah:7-8)

15. This clearly shows that everyone’s actions are calculated and checked, be they religious or worldly, as everything is related to Islamic law. The Prophet said:
“There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting on that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but who says, ‘I fear Allah’; a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.”

16. The first benevolence is fair leaders, which are mentioned as politics in administrating the country with Islam as fairness for all. A compulsory characteristic of Allah is to be fair, which is one of his Most Beautiful Names (al-Asma’ al-Husna). Allah orders that all be treated fairly and forbids cruelty. Fairness in the country’s administration comes first, regardless of the welfare of friends and foes, because it is a huge challenge, is a great struggle and brings a lot of goodness.

An Arab poem once stressed: “Be kind to people and you will tame their hearts. So often they are subdued to the act of kindness. If an evil person does evil things to you, dispel his evil by forgiving and with forgiveness.”

17. The concept of justice in Islam is what PAS is offering people because with this concept Islam rose and triumphed in its era of sovereignty, governing countries of the past comprising of multiracial  and civil societies.
Allah mentions this in the following verse: Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing. (An-Nisa’: 58)

“Only the benevolent concept based on fairness for all can unite the plurality of human hearts and achieve genuine unity, as people have feelings and thoughts. Every person with equal intellect and feelings shall receive welfare driven by fairness. Disregard those greedy people with bad attributes and conduct. We want to rule based on the accepted universal concept of benevolence without compulsion to embrace Islam. 

18.  Only the benevolent concept based on fairness for all can unite the plurality of human hearts and achieve genuine unity, as people are living  beings with feelings and thoughts. Every person with equal intellect and feelings will receive welfare driven by fairness. Disregard those greedy people with bad attributes and inhumanity. We want to rule based on the accepted universal concept of benevolence without compulsion to embrace Islam. Do bear witness that the Prophet’s initial struggle was supported by both Muslims and non-Muslims who resisted tyranny.

19. This is the call, and with praises of Allah we strive with believers.
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, ‘Indeed, I am of the Muslims.’ And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good]. And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Al-Fussilat:33-36)

20. Hence, the devilish possessed by demons are unable to uphold the concept of benevolence fair to all. Let us respond to Allah’s command and execute it.
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (Al-Ma’idah:8)

21. In this benevolent state, all parties will compete for charitable acts, which comprise the government’s welfare to the people and the people’s assisting the government, thus establishing a relationship of benevolence between the rich and poor, employers and employees and others. The concept of fairness in a benevolent state is the culture of kind deeds which brings to fruition love and compassion among humankind, enhancing a closer relationship between the leaders and the people, thereby leading the enemy to remorse and self-realisation, hence turning him into a friend and loyal companion.

22. At the same time, all supporters and members of PAS must vigorously embrace the policies presented in this muktamar, policies which revolve around righteous deeds and sincerity for the sake of Allah. They must abide to Islam as the aim of our struggle, strategise and organise activities and be ready to engage with all types of people openly in conveying our message.

Changes in international geo-politics

23. Islamic countries in the international platform are now facing a wave of change which is shifting the world’s political map. The development of the uprising of people power, which is sweeping across the Muslim world, which began in Tunisia and later to Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and nearly the whole Arab world.

24. No one predicted the people of Tunisia would succeed in ousting the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who for decades had denied his people their rights and freedom. And no one had predicted the people of Egypt would manage to topple the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak by just arming themselves with people power, by going out and voluntarily demonstrating on roads across the country.

25. All these political changes are part of destiny and are ‘gifts’ from Allah SWT and are a warning to any arrogant, haughty government that continue to deny the people their rights and freedoms. All that the people wanted was that their freedoms and rights of expression be respected; they are not envious of the ill-gotten wealth of the tyrannical government.

26. Muslims also are stepping into the new millennium with great tests and challenges. In this era of globalisation, Muslims continue to be crimped by various pressures and most challenging tests. In the eyes of the international community, the dignity and life of Muslims are regarded as nothing and valueless. Look at what continues to happen in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and, recently, Syria. The life of Muslims is cheaper than that of a despicable animal.

27.  The conflict in Syria deeply touches our hearts and feelings. The bloodshed and suffering of Syrian civilians has yet to be resolved. PAS would like to emphasise its stand that the conflict in Syria can never be solved by the intervention of external powers, notably that of the United States and its allies. Let the Syrian people decide themselves by popular vote and without any foreign intervention having strategic interests. All parties must exert pressure continuously and effectively, so that changes to real democracy shaped by their own people can occur.

28. I urge all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, and the whole international community to extend humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians falling victim to this tragic bloodbath.

29. In Palestine, Zionist attacks on and invasions of the sacred place continue without any restriction. They violate the limits of international law and human rights and have committed huge war crimes. They have also planned and openly committed aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque and continue to build settlements on land on which the Zionist government has encroached.

30. What is even more embarrassing is that many of the Muslim-world leaders are still shackled by the hegemonic pressure of Zionists. International bodies such as the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) all remain silent on the war crimes of the Zionist army . Once again I would like to express PAS’s support to the intifada, lead by Harakah Muqawwamah (Hamas) in the holy land of Palestine. For PAS the issue of Palestine and the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was the first qiblah of Muslims, remain key agendas at the international level.

Developments in ASEAN

31. PAS is also deeply moved by what happened to our brothers in Rakhine Region, Myanmar and would like to invite all parties to show sympathy to the disaster which befell the Muslim Rohingya population there. The cruelty against them—the killing, the burning of homes, the demolition of mosques—is uncivilised and beyond humanity.

32. In this regard, PAS is appalled by the silence of the government led by Umno-BN, which fails to condemn and take drastic measures to assist in resolving the issue. PAS also feels frustrated at the silence of Myanmar’s democracy fighter Aung Sang Su Kyi, who refused to denounce the injustices and inhumane acts against the Rohingya community.

33. Following the development of peace in southern Philippines, PAS has extended its congratulations on the recent initial peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government. It is the first step towards achieving peace in the autonomous regions, and this may be beneficial for most people in Mindanao. PAS hopes that peace will be truly realised and the opportunity will be taken to fill the peaceful period by reinvigorating the long restive region.

34. At the same time, PAS also congratulates all parties involved in contributing to the success of the peace agreement, including PAS leaders, who for decades have continued to provide assistance and guidance to the Islamic leadership of the Moro through MILF founder, the late Ustad Salamat Hashim.

35. PAS also calls on governments in the region to take lessons from the success to bring peace to people in the restive provinces of southern Thailand and Rakhine, Myanmar. PAS intends to make an open call to both our neighbours, hoping that the conflict will end immediately. There is no solution other than returning to the negotiating table and finding a way for truce.

36. Once again, I want to stress that PAS is ever ready to be the bridge in searching for solutions to these endless conflicts, just as it contributed to resolving the conflict between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Indonesian government as well the peace process between MILF and the Philippine government.

PAS: An Islamic movement for the continuation of struggle

37. We, moreover, want to reiterate that PAS is an Islamic movement which has existed for a long time to bring the message of Islam through education, preaching and politics. We exist as a continuation of the struggle against colonialism led by earlier scholars such as Sheikh Wan Ahmad Mohd Zain Fathani, who established the Jami‘atul Fathaniyah in Makkah in 1873, which was then continued by his disciples Raja Ali Kelana and Syed Sheikh al-Hadi, who established Jami‘atul Rusyidiyah in Riau in 1880. The Riau influence prompted the establishment of Jami‘atul Khairiyah in Betawi in 1904, prior to the creation Sarekat Islamic Trade (Sarekat Dagang Islam) in 1905, which was later known as Sarekat Islam under the leadership of Tjoakro Aminoto in 1912. Sarekat Islam’s influence as an Islamic political organisation began to grow in Malaya in 1919, with branches existing in Singapore, Johor, Baserah, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Patani and Penang. One of the key figures of Sarekat Islam in Malaya was Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong, who led the revolt against the British between 1924 and 1928, well before the Muslim Brotherhood movement founded by Al-Shahid Imam Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928.

38. From that period up until PAS’s existence officially in 1951, we have experienced the ups and downs of electoral outcomes; being involved in the electoral democracy system. PAS became the earliest Islamic movement which was given an opportunity to rule through a democratic system as early as 1959, the coalition government in the 1970s, Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah in 1990 and 1999 and Pakatan Rakyat in 2008, in which the openness of PAS Ulama made it possible for the party to perform political co-operation (tahaluf siyasi) in local politics until allowing PAS to liaise and co-operate with non-Muslims, who constitute 40% of the country’s population.

39. As a result, we became part of those who ruled the country; of the opposition; of the members and leaders hunted and imprisoned; of the Terengganu state government, overthrown in 1961; of Perak in 2010 and of the governments in Kelantan and Kedah. Furthermore, we enacted Islamic law at the state level, which gave colour to PAS’s struggles in an atmosphere with fiqh-aulawiyat, which is very different from our friends in the Middle East and Turkey.

40. The ‘openess’ of PAS has enabled us to take a good lesson from the victory of our friends in the Middle East over the last couple years. But we must not retreat from our policies and actions which have succeeded in wining the hearts and minds of the society  in our country. As such, it is not wrong to take any of the good lessons, but it must be done knowledgably and not simply out of admiration or becoming a reckless supporter without seeing the surroundings of our society, which have significantly changed compared to the situation in West Asia.

41. PAS insists on choosing democracy by participating in elections as a medium (wasila), from the start to present, despite facing an immoral democracy which has become a weapon of UMNO-BN in power for so long in this country. They are the one who have denied the people their right to be fair judges and reflective to government leaders. However, we believe that people can be uplifted with awareness to bring change.

“In political affairs, the door of independent legal reasoning (ijtihad) cannot be closed even though there is no equivalent leader compared to the former Companions and scholars qualified to issue expert legal opinions…

42. In political affairs, the door of independent legal reasoning (ijtihad) cannot be closed even though there is no equivalent leader compared to the former Companions and scholars qualified to issue expert legal opinions (mujtahidun). Regardless, congregational Islamic legal reasoning continues to take place, and PAS has formed the Shura Ulama Council, which ensures the robustness of our Islamic policy, faith, Shariah, character and organisation (nizam) and steadfastness with party regulation. Until now—praise be to Allah—PAS has never failed in any of its political decisions. Hence, PAS members should never isolate themselves from this Islamic congregation. Listen to the Prophet’s warning: “The Devil is the wolf of man, just as the wolf of sheep takes the stray sheep that wanders far.”

Political commitment

43. Islam opposes political tyranny because it begets other atrocities. Islam also opposes all dictatorial governments, whether they be individuals or groups. In fact, Islam also rejects those pretentious religious leaders who hide behind the commands of Allah, or religious leaders who implement theocratic rule according to western philosophy to the extent of committing cruelty against their own people and country.

44. All the prophets bring Islam with a belief in a single God (tawhid)—opposing the concept of polytheism in worship and as a way of life—and with the concept of religion (din), which is not separate from politics. Islam is also against the worship of those who rule tyrannically and the people.

45. The Prophet’s struggle has become the source of political jurisprudence or fiqh Sunnah as practised by the Islamic government and Islamic groups which perpetuated over the ages based on the fairness of Islamic law. Some embraced Islam, and some just wanted to accept the concept of a government fair to all, giving rise to the ideal Islamic civilisation comprising a multiracial  society.

46. Islamic politics has created a united plural society which cannot be achieved through other teachings:
Allah says: [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right–only because they say, ‘Our Lord is Allah.’ And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. (Al-Hajj:40)

47. History has shown that prior to the establishment of society and the nation before the arrival of Islam brought by Prophet Muhammad, any races or religions which emerged as victors suppressed others oppressively and violently.

48. The Islamic administration in Madinah later gave a fair right to its multiracial society which required unity among Muslims and the whole society. The Charter of Madinah was a historic agreement between a government and a multiracial society and has been a guide for all Islamic governments thereafter.

49. PAS is ready to govern Malaysia together with its allies in Pakatan Rakyat, fulfilling its responsibility and trust. Therefore, PAS implements political co-operation, a consensus within Pakatan Rakyat which upholds the concept of similarities, but does not impose on differences. Together Pakatan Rakyat has declared the following resolutions:

  1. Islam as the religion of the Federation, though other religions can be practised peacefully in the country
  2. Special position of the Bumiputera and the legitimate interests of other races are protected.
  3. Use of Bahasa Melayu is upheld while mother tongues of all races are protected and strengthened.
  4. Role and responsibility of the institution of Constitutional Monarchy are defended.

50. The political commitment through this tahaluf siyasi demands that we continue to co-operate with our partners in Pakatan Rakyat, collectively managing the administration of the state and nation. At the same time, each member of PAS within the present administration and government should also understand the concept of fiqh al-awlawiyyah and the maqasid of Shariah and insist on the policies in line with the PAS Constitution itself. Tahaluf siyasi should not obscure the understanding of the concept of fiqh al-ta‘at to our own party.

Economic approach

51. The world saw the fall of communism, which rejects religion in its totality and in which a material -based economy becomes the new God to be worshipped and men are treated like machines, bodies without souls and with guideless thoughts. The world is also witnessing the collapse of the ideology of liberal capitalism, which worships materialism, casting religion aside and reaching an economic freedom which is soulless, without control of the conscience and void of the concept of reward and punishment as in Shariah.

52. The situation has worsened the deceptive politics and the economic wealth circulating among the selected few and the politicians and economists who are in cahoots with them. This leads to the birth of Pharoah and Haman, who are corrupt, and also of the Qarun group, which amassed wealth through the concept of monopoly and greed, thriving  on unjust gains in trade or business, corruption and other unlawful means.

53. This is what is happening in our country. Our country is rich in natural resources, but will be bankrupt if it continues to be in the hands of Barisan Nasional. Implementing economic transformation via a BN government style  on par with that of wealthy countries in the West is not what the people desire. The value of our ringgit continues to shrink and purchasing power dwindles and drops.

54. The Prime Minister was once proudly said that Malaysia had over 30 billionaires sharing wealth amounting to RM200 billion. But PAS would like to remind everyone that some billionaires had a corporate debt of RM22 billion during the 1997 financial crisis. Now, we know from the financial market, of well known corporate figures among the 30 billionaires, there are some who have a debt of over RM55 billion and RM34 billion each, a repeat of past mistakes.

55. If we are entrusted to rule later, we would like to make some rectifications and take some key reforms First, we would like to reform the present economic philosophy to a fairer and more prosperous system. In this regard, the fiscal as well as the fair monetary policy must be utilised fully to pace growth. Second, we would like to rectify the implementation supported by character, the concept of reward and punishment according to the Shariah, holistic accountability and preventive laws which prevent waste, leakage, fraud and corruption. Third, we would like to make a comprehensive assessment of the country’s revenue, so  that the management of national wealth can benefit in a more transparent and fair manner for all. Fourth, we would like to reject discrimination, such that economic policy and its benevolence can be implemented based on true Islamic justice, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, state or territory. These will reject the practice of cronyism, the monopoly of local market and the introduction of laws which curtail the existence of cartels, which are pressuring the people.

56. PAS will like to stress that the responsibility of governing the land and making it prosperous is a trust that must be met, not only to fulfil the demand of the electorates that have chosen us as the government, but also at the highest level, where the country’s leadership must be responsible and accoutable to Allah. Therefore, administrating national wealth, managing the country’s finances prudently, managing the economy and  enhancing wealth-creation (hifz al-mal) are part of the key measures which must be preserved and advanced by a benevolent nation.

57. Since its initial Islamic implementation in ruling the country, the advent of Islam witnessed important economic activity which was carried out for all, not just Muslims. In the matter of worship, it could vary, but when it comes to matters of mu‘amalat, there exists a just interaction among the various races.

58. The use of the ihya’ al-mawat system to reclaim agricultural land and trade liberalisation unfettered by oppressors gave rights to all the economic activities of the people, including non-Muslims in matters not forbidden by their religion and prohibited by Islam. This ultimately attracted the oppressed of all races to embrace the Islamic administration.

59. The concept of zakat (obligatory charity), which is the virtue of revenue collection and fair distribution, is a pillar for Muslims throughout their lives. Even without government administration, zakat is still obligatory for Muslims, but not for those of other faiths. The concept is expanded to the handling of the tax system, which is not an act of worship in other faiths, whether in the form of natural resources or taxation on the people’s economic activities. It is taken from the wealthy and does not burden the poor and unemployed. Distribution of wealth to the people based on the concept of fairness to all is the act of a prudent and generous government. It is compulsory to maintain zakat as part of an act of worship in wealth management for Muslims. Tax can even be removed when it is not needed.

60. In the distribution of zakat, the ulama have agreed that priority be given to the people within the district the zakat is collected. This applies to the concept of the national wealth distribution system, meaning that the federal government cannot arbitrarily transfer the wealth of any territory without fully assessing the needs of well-being in the region.
The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Muslims should share 3 things (resources): pasture, water and fire (energy)”

61. The concept is that the general need musht be controlled by the government in order to avoid certain people and their cronies from taking advantage in matters of public interest. And of course, general requirements have changed over time, extending into other matters such as education, health and all other public facilities.

62. During the golden years of Islamic civilisation, Muslim rulers have succeeded in providing travellers with free accommodations and services known as musafir khanah. This is where taxes  such as tolls, which burden the people, could be abolished, and free education and free healthcare can be implemented.

“The government’s benevolence to the people regardless of race, religion and geographical location must take precedence above all other consideratios. As a result, this will forge a relationship between the government and the people and among the multiracial society

63. To reduce the burden of daily household costs, the sensible approach would be to increase the disposable incomes and not the gift of one-off payments on a seasonal basis. Reducing the cost of utilities such as water and electricity, health, education, transport and basic food necessities will definitely increase the disposable incomes of households, ultimately  giving rise to more meaningful life and reducing reliance on subsidies and one-off payments  as practised by the UMNO-BN government every now and then.

64. The government’s benevolence to the people regardless of race, religion and geographical location must be valued against the need to ensure the well-being of the people beforehand. As a result, this will forge a relationship between the government and the people and among the multiracial society. This situation is different from the previous rulers  who prioritised either their own  or the colonialists. So the arrival of Islam was welcomed by the natives. This shows us the wide examples of solutions provided by Islam when we are ready to listen and to execute policies.

Restructuring the education system

65. PAS is dutybound  to introduce an agenda for human capital and development based on Allah’s requirements, balanced and holistic. It is essentially to enable men to realise one’s potential. The failure of the education system left the country and its people lagging, weak and contemptible.

66. Education is about human development, it must be moulded with the creation of man by Allah according to its nature. The collapse of past civilisations had been due to their failure to develop humans according to their nature, leading to their failure to carry out their tasks properly and justly on earth, oppressing people who are not only weak but also knowledgeable. Scholars and men of knowledge were annihilated after contributing to the country and nation, so that the knowledge could not be transferred to others, or would be treated as a threat to the leaders. Philosophers were killed, and architects had their hands chopped off. The situation was worse when divinely appointed Messengers of Allah were rejected.

67. What remains of those civilizations offers lessons. One is that development of science and technology in the absence of spiritual growth of the mind and inner-self will end in destruction. Now we are witnessing the starting mark of the destruction of western civilization, which has been a weapon of oppression against humankind and the environment.

68. This is what we see in the Malaysia Education Development Blueprint 2013-2025 presented by the BN government. Its  vision of education fails to enrich students with the true teachings of religion to face the  crisis of morality in the future; while the government expresses confidence of the academic achievement of some developed country using it as a measurement of success for our own education system. Teachers are put in another new experiment, adding more  pressure to the teaching profession, turning teachers into machines that no longer play the role of educating the next generation. Apart from that, Islamic education continues to be sidelined, coupled with proposals to strengthen the so-called Islamic and Moral Education by focusing more on the core values and major religious philosophy by 2017, only invites the notion of liberalism and ignores Islam as the religion of the federation.

69. Therefore, PAS is obliged to correct the educational mould for human development, resurrecting the policy and concept of Islamic education, human development, which covers the obligatory in this world and the hereafter, fard ‘ayn (personal obligations), fard kifayah (communal obligations) in this world and also the hereafter. This also includes the upholding of the people’s freedom, to be independent from the colonised mindset, whether it is from the effect of foreign or internal colonialism which undermines the dignity of human who possess faith, morality and wisdom.

70.  The role of the national language which is the soul of the nation must be strengthened to become the language of knowledge, administration and national unity, along with the mother tongues of all races. The learning of foreign languages to increase beneficial knowledge from anywhere must also be encouraged, as noted by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.): “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer. Wherever he can find it, he is more worthy of it.”

71. PAS in the Pakatan Rakyat government must ensure no one is lagging behind in education, according to their respective capabilities, at least in fard ‘ain, and fard kifayah in religious  and worldly matters as much as possible. Financial allocation must be provided adequately by the government for this infrastructure, as fulfilment of its responsibility in providing education to the people.

72. According to Islam, a government is never at a loss even financially for providing free education, instead it will yield higher national revenue with the emergence of educated people  to increase national income. Everything can be achieved when people are knowledgeable, are true believers and civil. People will not become ignorant and useless, neither will they be clever and deceiving.

PAS’s commitment to the people
73. PAS is ready to assume the trust as a component of federal or state government together with Pakatan Rakyat in the coming general election. We believe that with the people’s support and PAS membership comprising of various areas of expertise, including the technocrats, who can cooperate with PAS and the Pakatan Rakyat government, we are ready to assume this greater responsibility.

74. PAS believes and is confident that the shifting of power from BN to Pakatan Rakyat will happen smoothly and peacefully if the people put their trust in us. To all the people, do not fear change for the better. If we fail in executing the trust given, the people can punish us in the next general election.

75. This big commitment of PAS also guarantees that the federal and state government machineries consisting of officials of different levels will not be oppressed or subject to revenge, because they are the executer of policy of the incumbent government elected by the people. The good relationship with the constitutional monarchy will be preserved in line with our  in Pakatan Rakyat.

76. If we are given the trust, then PAS will also put forward motions to dismantle oppressive laws, restore the credibility of key public institutions such as Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, Election Commission, the institution of judiciary, parliament, Royal Malaysian Police and others. The struggle for clean and fair election will continue to be championed by PAS, even when we get to Putrajaya, because this is a mark of a healthy democratic country.

77. To the multiracial and multiethnic people of Sabah and Sarawak, let us join hands to develop Malaysia together with our united strength, fairly and equitably. The rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak which have been promised will be implemented, apart from the commitment together with Pakatan Rakyat through the important declaration made during the September 16 Malaysia Day celebration. The royalty from the two states’ oil revenue of 20% will be returned to the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak.

78. Apart from implementing our resolve with Pakatan Rakyat, as we have outlined together in the Orange Book, PAS is also expanding its commitment to undo the damage in our country if given the opportunity to step into Putrajaya. We are committed to jointly develop the country for the better through a special manifesto, which will be unveiled at the right time.

79. Among the key ingredients of PAS’s commitment are, to uphold Islam as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, to recognise and empower the role of the young generation, to improve and recognise the role of women, to defend and promote the interest of farmers, to improve the accessibility of health services without burdening the people, to improve regional economic agenda and financial management, to introduce a just education system, and to introduce a culture of which upholds the value of life and so on.

80. Apart from the commitments described above, PAS also shares the plight of rural settlers at this present moment. Rural settlers, in particular the Malays, comprise of 112,000 settlers and over 1 million Felda members, comprising Felda settlers, families and staff of Felda. Any actions taken against Felda will have a great impact on these mega clusters of people in Malaysia.

81. We have witnessed Felda’s listing on Bursa Malaysia through its subsidiary Felda Global Ventures (FGV), a dark chapter  for all Felda members. Felda assets consisting of lands, farms and various other assets jointly owned by Felda members are now exposed to private ownership, including foreign companies, in the name of the listing. As such, PAS, in order to defend the people, states its continued commitment to save the lands and all assets of Felda and will return the wealth back to them if given the mandate to form the federal government.

82. Recently, the government has also implemented the Automatic Enforcement System (AES). AES started to be enforced on September 23, 2012. Opposing the AES does not mean we are condoning violation of traffic laws.

83. The PAS-backed Anti Postal Summons Campaign (KASE) has opposed the implementation of AES because of the many confusions arising from its implementation. Among these are the locations of the cameras, which are inappropriate and absurd. The exercise also involves private companies which are reaping profits from revenue generated  by the settlement of summonses by motorists.

84. The argument that speeding is a major contributor of accidents cannot be accepted easily and arbitrarily. True, speeding is part of the cause of accidents, but it is not the main culprit. Director of Road Safety Department Malaysia once mentioned that 85.74% of the accidents were due to human factors, 10.62% due to environmental conditions, while 3.64% are vehicle factors. These human factors are the ones requiring education and a more holistic approach, not by installing cameras and churn out summonses like a form of business.

85. PAS also reiterates its commitment to revisit the mega projects that should contribute economic returns to the country without burdening the people and the environment. Projects such as Refinery and Petrochemicals in Pengerang, Johor; should be implemented without involving the transfer of 25,000 people who have been living for decades in more than 10 traditional villages, and without involving the transfer of more than 10 schools, mosques and so on. We do not rule out economic benefits from projects such as this, but PAS rejects tyranny in the name of land acquisition, which is unjust, as well as harmful to the ecology through the destruction of fishing areas, which eventually affects people’s source of income.

86. PAS also recognizes the role of the armed forces who have sacrificed much for the country. We will fight for the army veterans foundations and organisations, , the Armed Forces Fund Board  and Syarikat Perumahan Angkatan Tentera (SPAT) to be given new resources and expanded roles, in order to develop the economy of military personnel and veterans. All these are to secure the welfare of military personnel and the families of veterans, apart from a commitment to provide educational assistance for life to military personnel, their widows and their dependents.

87. PAS would  like to take this opportunity to thank the peoples of Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Perak, who have given us the trust to be part of Pakatan Rakyat, as well as officials within the state government administrations which have cooperated with the governments of the day, with the aim of bringing change which is better than that of the previous governments.

88. We realise that currently we are at the end of the reign of our states we won in the 12th general election, and the people  will be judging again this coming 13th general election. The most important task for us is to defend the states we won with all our hardwork and energy  and to extend the victory to Putrajaya, insha Allah.

“In the run-up to the 13th general election, the nation will see a hurricane of money going into houses and into every human soul in our country. PAS will be faced with this challenge, to face people being persuaded with money, development projects and so on…”

89. We also realise that five years is not sufficient for us to make big changes in the states we rule. This is because  we are also dealing with the twisted concept of federalism, which provides for limited power for states, unjust interference and pressure by the federal government. As such, we do not have time to change the administrative system which is the legacy of the BN government. This is apart from a few of our own weaknesses which need to be rectified with wisdom on an ongoing basis.

90.  Basic election works should continue while specific tasks will be spelt out by various election committees, the Ulama, Muslimat and Youth wings and their respective committees which contribute to the overall tasks of the elections.  I need not detail their strategies in today’s muktamar. Obey and execute the instruction wholeheartedly.

91. Remember the slogan towards Putrajaya which we have frequently lauded through our ‘Himpunan Hijau ke Putrajaya’, ‘PAS ganti UMNO’  and ‘Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat’ programmes – all are based on our resolve to bring change. It is not a distant dream, but within reach due to the consensus-driven cooperation in Pakatan Rakyat.

92. In the run-up to the 13th general election, the nation will see a hurricane of money going into houses and into every human soul in our country. PAS will be faced with this challenge, to face people being persuaded with money, development projects and so on, apart from the various scams that have become the main weapon of our opponents.

93. Hence, we need to state our commitment to take certain actions to face the 13th general election. Firstly, PAS activists must be patient and remain prepared despite being disturbed by BN’s strategy of delaying the election, as the delay is indeed a BN strategy to demoralise and weaken our financial position, apart from trapping us through creation of issues. During this period, too, we will be confronted by attempts to create racial discord and tension by the mainstream media, the very tools to defend the voracious UMNO-BN government. Be firm with the congregation and surely we will be safe and able to cope with this challenge.

94. Secondly, PAS activists must undertake to protect its own fortress (parliamentary or state assembly seats) to counter the cunning enemies. Let us examine Allah’s words: O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful. (Al ‘Imran:200)

95. Thirdly, PAS activists must be prepared to welcome Malays, in particular the younger generation, who have embraced change but out of respect to their parents who still support UMNO, they do not show it in the open. Young people of today are very different from the previous generations. Understand that they do not like the aggressive speeches, they support PAS, but do not want to become members. They want PAS leadership to detail its promised agenda and not just rhetoric. They are quick in keeping up with developments as they always communicate with each other via Facebook, blogs, SMS and so on.

96. Fourthly, PAS must strive to win as many seats allocated to it while defending its 24 parliamentary seats won in 2008, while the other parliamentary seats will be given an injection of well-planned work, supported by the central leadership, which is entrusted with this focus task. All parliamentary seats contested by PAS in Sabah and Sarawak will also be given special attention to ensure victory.

97. Accordingly, party organs such as Harakah and Harakahdaily, along with other party information machinery should move together to form the fikrah and deliver information based on the strategically defined  mould of the party. This period should be utilised fully to convey information on the achievements of our administrations to our members, who would then pass it to the silent voters in the election. Remember,  wisdom, not anger, is paramount. PAS would also like to express its deepest appreciation and gratitude to all our full time party workers, including staff at the PAS headquarters, states and branches, the teachers of PASTI, reporters and staff of Harakah print as well as Harakahdaily, for their commitment and dedication, although they do not reap material benefits as high as their counterparts in the same professions elsewhere. May Allah reward them for their deeds.

98. The 13th general election is one which involves cyber war, unlike past elections. Whether we like it or not, our activists at all levels must reform by working towards mastering information technology and ICT communication to face the cyber war phenomenon.

99. Convergence of information and ICT must be strengthened  to face the 13th general election by establishing a secretariat related to New Media as decided in the ICT and New Media Conference in 2011. I call on PAS leaders of all levels, especially those involved with the Information committee and Elections department, to ensure that the potential of ICT and New Media is fully utilised for campaign purposes, making use of websites, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WebTV, as well as ceramah and print media.

Instructions to PAS leaders and members
With an open mind full of determination, belief in Allah and His promises regarding this world and Hereafter, a conviction in our struggle, I hereby give the following instructions to all party delegates present today:

  1. I call on all activists, members and leaders of PAS to constantly hold firm to our struggle for Islamic goals, to purify our struggle’s ideology, to stop being complacent, not to be involved in matters which undermine  the struggle  and not to confuse our ideology with petty matters.
  2. I call on the party machinery—our wings, committees and states—to concentrate on the impending election with a pledge to defend the states governed through Pakatan Rakyat consensus and continue to widen it to other states as well as the federal government.
  3. I call on all state governments under PAS together with Pakatan Rakyat – to utilise the remaining time to solve the people’s issues and continue charity work without abandoning party work so that it reaches every layer of society.
  4. I call on everyone in the party to be on the highest alert to face the 13th general election, in which we will deal with mischief and provocation from the media. BN will also continue to create antagonism among PAS leaders to an extent we could not have imagined and will continue to pit PAS with our partners in Pakatan Rakyat in an effort to weaken the ranks and our spirit. Do not retreat. Do not be confused. Listen to the guide and official statements issued by the top leadership from time to time. All in the party must refrain from making mistakes which can undermine us in the eyes of the public.
  5. I call on everyone in the party to carry out their respective election duties with wisdom, invite the people to change—but not by being an enemy to the people—and meet, talk and write in a  language easily understood by them, all with utmost sincerity, seeking Allah’s blessing.
  6. I call on leaders and members of all ranks to strengthen brotherhood among themselves and continue to strengthen hablun min Allah (the Rope of God) of all activists and members of PAS as a weapon, which will strengthen the fighting spirit. And let us not retreat, but seek assistance from Allah and place our trust in Him. The atmosphere of election must not become a barrier to increasing our charity, prayer, fasting and special prayers which will serve as bulwark to our struggle. For the victory of Islam only comes with Allah’s consent.
  7. Let us today truly understand the theme of this muktamar and later organise activities and strategies in the spirit of the theme ‘Forging Unity through a Benevolent State.’

One thought on “Forging Unity through A Benevolent State

  1. No matter what the outcome is, unless America learns that charity begins at home whatever remedy America might take it will take them nowhere. In fact just remember how they become so heavily in deficit ? Just like Japan going around the world America too is going around the world pretending to be very rich and generous, giving away billions or even trillions of dollars just so to gain concessions in many areas, especially so with money they don’t even have to begin with.
    Now the two countries are struggling to accept the fact that they are deep in debt and when China, typical of most Chinese very frugal now have trillions in reserve and soon will overtake America in most things. They have just overtaken Japan in world economy , therefore just remember God will only take care of those who takes care of themselves.

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