KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 ― The old PAS would not have hesitated to join the Bersih 4 rally planned for this weekend, DAP lawmaker Teresa Kok said today.
The Seputeh MP added that she did not understand why the current PAS is refusing to participate in the electoral reform watchdog’s gathering this time around, as the Islamist party’s members have shown strong attendance at the previous three rallies.
“PAS shown strong presence in the last three Bersih rallies, when we join demonstrations, their members come from Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah, all over,” Kok told a news conference here, in response to a PAS leader citing the inappropriate date and their busy schedules as reasons for skipping the 34-hour camp-out in the national capital from August 29 to 30.
“Now if PAS declared they do not want to come, that is their choice. But this is not the PAS that I used to know,” she added.
PAS has decided not to deploy its volunteer corp known as Unit Amal for Bersih 4, saying on Monday that although it supports the rally’s objectives, its leadership found the chosen dates for the event inappropriate as it would be too close to Merdeka Day, which falls on August 31.
Although it would not be formally mobilising its members for the overnight rally this weekend, PAS said it would be sending some of its representatives to the rally.
“The date of Bersih 4 is just a day away from the Merdeka Day celebration on August 31, which is inappropriate,” the party’s secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan told a news conference two days ago.
He added that PAS members will also be preoccupied with preparations for other party-related events like Kongres Rakyat on September 12, Himpunan 60K (H60K) on October 17, and two other nationwide events, namely the “Siri Jelajah Munaqasyah Ucapan Dasar Presiden” and “Perhimpunan Istiqamah Hingga Kemenangan” that will be held every weekend from October 3.
DAP and PAS were members of the loose opposition alliance called Pakatan Rakyat, together with PKR, but had a falling out and formally separated earlier this year over the Islamist party’s insistence on rolling out Islamic criminal laws in Kelantan.
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