On Sunday, 27 October, a Pas delegation comprising Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Sepang MP Mohamed Hanipa Maidin and Tasik Gelugor Pas information chief Abdul Rahman Kasim visited the St Mark’s Anglican Church in Butterworth for a dialogue with parishioners.
St Mark’s Church pastor Rev John Kennady introduced the Pas delegation to the congregation at the end of the Sunday service.
At the dialogue, Khalid laid out the party’s position on the word Allah, which they said was not exclusive.
When asked if this represented the dominant view of the party rather than a minority view, he said it was the party position.
For Hanipa, the Pas legal adviser who rose to prominence for his role in the legal team involved in the Perak constitutional crisis, it was the first time he was attending such a dialogue with Christians.
They were also asked about their views on Perkasa and how much support they felt the NGO enjoyed.
Both said they thought that Perkasa is a “surrogate” of Umno, and Perkasa is saying the things that Umno can’t say.
Khalid pointed out that in Shah Alam, he had won with a bigger majority over Perkasa deputy president Zulkifli Nordin. (He won with a 10939-vote majority compared to his 2008 winning margin of 9314 over another Umno candidate.) Nonetheless, Khalid said his support in percentage terms eroded by 1 per cent. But this was probably insignificant because he said there was a 20000 increase in the number of registered voters in his constituency for GE13, and half of this he felt went to the BN.
The last time Pas, represented by Pas national unity bureau chief Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the MP for Parit Buntar, tried to hold a dialogue at St Mark’s Church, the event was graced by police, journalists and protesters and the venue had to be changed twice at the last moment in dramatic circumstances.
This time, due to the minimal advance publicity for the event, the dialogue took place in a relaxed atmosphere with no outside presence.