Dato Dr Cheah See Kian
I would like to present two important concepts in the democratic political process and their differences - value judgement and empirical judgement. In the context of PAS, its value judgment refers to the judgment of its ideals in advocating and setting up of an Islamic state, which is a logical and reasonable struggle of the party.
However, the empirical judgment of such a struggle dictates that it is incompatible under the context of a multi-cultural society. Past experiences in advocating the party’s struggle of an Islamic state to non-Muslims suggest that such a struggle belongs and remains in subjective value judgment, and that it should not and cannot become an empirically objective judgment.
This is further supported by the majority of Malaysians in aspiring for a country that is not theocratic, but democratic, that accords freedom of religion to its citizens.
Thus, PAS should learn from the experience and subscribe to an empirical judgment of its politics, reducing the scale of its religious politics while concentrating on advocating the ideals and policies of integrity, justice and good governance.
Should PAS adopt this direction, I believe the party will surely garner the support of the various races. However, should PAS retain its brand of religious politics, and then will not have the backing of the non-Muslims.
In view of the change in the current political landscape, PAS needs to reevaluate its position and subscribe to a new political paradigm to win the support of the people.
Furthermore, with the emphasis on ‘Ketuanan Rakyat’ under the banner of Pakatan Rakyat, PAS should cooperate with others to build a better Malaysia that is peaceful and harmonious.
In the event of PAS encountering a conflict between the value and empirical judgment of its ideals, an objective evaluation is more sensible under the context of a multi-cultural environment.
In politics, there is the need to find balance between the aspiration of the party and the political reality of the nation, as it is unrealistic to hold on to ideals that do not conform to reality.
Under the present scenario, there is only one choice for PAS, and that is to abide by the majority.
This does not mean, however, that PAS should sacrifice the preaching of Islamic ideals among fellow Muslims, only that it should accept the reality that theocracy is not compatible a multi-racial Malaysia.