It is refreshing to know that the charismatic leadership of Pas president Hadi Awang was so overwhelmingly inspiring that it prompted some members of
“the public” in Terengganu to hand out money to people a few days before the recent general election.
But the “handout” – which Hadi called an act of “sedekah” (charity) – also involved Pas members, certain Umno leaders and others asserted.
Such a serious allegation gives the negative impression that Pas had committed vote-buying, a form of bribery. Let the courts decide that.
Vote-buying violates the Election Offences Act 1954.
Hadi would surely be aware that such financial assistance would come in handy for voters, especially those from poor areas in Terengganu.
At the very least, that money would have covered their travelling expenses and meals during the trip to cast their votes. The balance, if any remained, could very well be used for something like home repairs.
We certainly hope that such charity could be sustained throughout the year, not just during elections.
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Anyway, we must not underestimate the intelligence and political acumen of the former special envoy to West Asia. Would anyone in his right mind put his party at risk by getting caught in an act that could only be described as vote-buying?
Hadi was even hailed by the Taliban of Afghanistan as an “insightful” and “experienced” leader in diplomacy and Islamic academia.
The Marang MP should be in the best position to do what he thinks is right for the party and ordinary people, given the immense knowledge and experience he has acquired over the years.
Moreover, as a true-blue Muslim, Hadi should be conscious of the religious obligation to be charitable, particularly to those who need the most, like the poor electorate.
There may be a spinoff arising from this charitable act that is appreciated by Pas.
If it is true that Pas members were indeed involved in distributing the handouts, then non-profit organisations who look after the welfare of the poor, needy, and marginalised, such as orphanages and single mothers’ collectives, may have a new source of financial assistance.
This is, of course, not to imply that the Islamist party’s financial generosity has anything to do with any gaming company, as its ardent critics rudely accused.
It is also worth noting that exercising charity may put you on the straight path to an idyllic afterlife.
That is why Pas reminds us that the worldly pursuits of power, status, and fortune must not become the only reasons for our earthly existence. There is obviously a higher goal in life for God-fearing souls.
If anything, worldly pursuits could be unnecessary distractions from doing good deeds.
Such charitable acts as giving money to voters may dispel the notion that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
In the interest of the people and personal salvation, would we be asking too much for all of us to be charitable to Pas’ idea of “sedekah”? – The Malaysian Insight
The above piece is satire.