Abdul Hadi Awang, President of Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party likely to face challenge at party polls


Malaysia’s opposition DAP cuts ties with  Abdul Hadi Awang for breaking his promise not to pursue implementation of Islamic criminal laws.

For the first time in its history, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s presidency will be challenged.  But Abdul Hadi Awang, long-time President of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), is almost guaranteed to retain his post during the party’s elections next month, despite the opposition from Ahmad Awang, the PAS Perak commissioner.

Hadiha’s been a member of PAS since 1978, and has been in leadership positions for almost 30 years, which shows his popularity and influence within the party.

However, that doesn’t mean Hadi’s image hasn’t taken a hit lately.  Lim Guang Eng, secretary-general of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), which is a major rival of PAS, called into question Hadi’s feelings about Islam as a religion of peace.

Hadi has been quoted as saying that “anger toward DAP is permitted by Allah,” reports Malaysiakini.  The reason for this anger would be the more secular and social democratic DAP and its views.  In particular, DAP’s opposition to hudud is in question.

Hudud is the idea in Islam that there are crimes against God– such as adultery, homosexuality, and drinking alcohol– which require punishments.

Lim Guang Eng wondered why he, as a non-Muslim, knew that Islam was supposed to be a religion of peace, while Hadi seemed to treat it as a religion of anger.

Lim also wanted to know how Allah could have legislated such anger considering that DAP was founded in 1966.

Implying political strategy by Hadi, Lim also wondered why PAS was only expressing ill will toward DAP when there were several other parties also opposed to hudud.

DAP and Lim don’t deny their opposition to hudud.  Instead they explain that is it an issue of constitutionality, not its connection to Islam.

The Malaysian Insider reports that Abdul Hadi Awang’s opposition in the PAS election by Awang as well as a clash between those supporting hudud versus those in favor of a more modern, secular view of law highlights a growing unease in the Malaysian political coalition Pakatan Rakyat.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter