On the Beat | By Wong Chun Wai

What a nasty thing to say

As Barisan leaders criticised Muhd Zahid, Keadilan
leaders have refused to be drawn into the controversy. Party president Datin
Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and vice-president Azmin Ali have also not

We can conclude that the two have endorsed Muhd Zahid's remarks with their
silence. PAS leaders, with their self-proclaimed high moral ground, are
tight-lipped too. Always quick to project themselves as righteous leaders, this
time they have refused to speak up against what is clearly wrong.

As opposition leaders, they understandably need to score political points
against Barisan and Shahidan in the heat of a by-election. But it is most
despicable when politicians exploit the tragedy of a family, particularly when
members are still mourning the death of a loved one.

Shahidan's youngest son fell to his death from a condominium in Kuala Lumpur
recently. Instead of extending their condolences to Shahidan, Keadilan has
chosen to capitalise on it. In the name of political expediency, the party
leaders appear to no longer be able to draw the line between right and

Granted that Muhd Zahid is a featherweight in the party but its leaders have
the responsibility to apologise on the party's behalf. The least they can do is
to say that Muhd Zahid's remarks do not represent the views of the party.

This is not the first time that Keadilan has committed a wrong and refused to
acknowledge it. Not too long ago, the party implicated the Government in an
alleged plot to poison Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

There was no shortage of Malaysians who believed that incredulous allegation.
Anwar, of course, is still very much alive.

More recently, we read of Anwar's need to seek medical treatment overseas.
There were enough reports in some pro-opposition Internet news websites that if
he were not treated, he would be in grave danger. That, of course, is no longer
an issue because it was merely a stunt aimed at gaining political

To PAS and Keadilan, it was all sandiwara when the Al-Maunah members staged
their arms heist and killed security officers. When Kumpulan Militan Malaysia
members were arrested, they did not believe it either.

PAS should not blame Malaysians if they perceive the Islamist party as
extremist because several KMM members are PAS grassroots leaders.

PAS, we can all remember, was quick to declare jihad (holy war) against the
United States for its war in Afghanistan and approved of its members joining
the Taliban forces.

The party was also supportive of the destruction of the Buddhist statues in
Afghanistan by the Taliban. And the party has not changed its stand on the
setting up of an Islamic state ala Taliban.

Last week, DAP deputy chairman Karpal Singh challenged Keadilan and Parti
Rakyat Malaysia to state their stand on the PAS Islamic state, saying both parties
had been unclear.

Karpal Singh should know. After all, the DAP spent three years with the three
parties in the opposition coalition, attempting to change them from

As the Keadilan candidate in Indera Kayangan, Khoo Yang Chong must state his stand
as to whether he agrees with the setting up of an Islamic state and the
policies of his fellow PAS brethrens who marched with him to the nomination

He was, after all, a four-term  chairman
of the Perlis Buddhists Association.