|WE ARE THE ALTERNATIVE' Pas's president on his party's prospects
How were your relations with Anwar after he joined UMNO?
Not as they were in ABIM, but sometimes we phoned each other.
So what do you think of Anwar's situation now?
The issue for Pas is the
cruelty of the government in using the Internal Security Act (ISA), [which
allows detention without trial].
I thought there was a big possibility he would be arrested. After Anwar was indeed arrested, we convened opposition parties and NGOs to oppose the ISA. This has been Pas's stand since the 1960s. We are defending Anwar not as an individual or because he is a friend but because he was oppressed under the ISA.
And you are backing Anwar's wife.
We would give way to Dr.
Wan Azizah if she wishes to contest the general elections anywhere. We
might help with manpower.
When do you think general elections will be held?
Soon, around August or September.
And how do you think Pas will perform?
We can defend Kelantan. We hope to win other states - Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis - and form the state government. In Perlis, many people are not happy with the current chief minister. His attitude is too much. The government's Barisan Nasional coalition can [drop] him, but if Dr. Mahathir is still leading it, the majority will still be angry.
Is Pas's goal to form an Islamic state?
According to Islamic teaching, it is every Muslim's duty to try to form an Islamic state. It is considered a sin if we do notimplement shariah (Islamic religious law). But what's important is substance, not form. Islam guarantees justice for all, distribution of national wealth, freedom of speech.
We've formed a coalition [with non-Muslim groups too] on issues that we agree on - bringing justice back to the people and denying a victory to Barisan in the general elections. Because these changes cannot be made if Barisan continues to win. So our duty is to deny them victory.