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Karpal’s Lonely War Moves to Kelantan Hair Salons

Karpal’s Lonely War Moves to Kelantan Hair Salons

Sunday, 25 November 2012

There are days when DAP national chairman Karpal Singh must wonder whether he has signed up with a coalition of madmen. So it was that he held a press conference in Air Itam on Saturday and gamely announced that Kelantan’s state government had an obligation to allow non-Muslim women to cut non-Muslim men’s hair.

Yes, it has come to this finally.

The underlying problem was a recent decision by at least some municipal agents in Kelantan to begin fining salons – run and owned by non-Muslims – for allowing mixed-sex haircutting. Given the potential problems and issues facing Kelantan, one would imagine that the terrible danger of mixed-sex haircutting would be very, very low on the list, but somehow it has been moved to the top.

This has became an issue because not only has Karpal been at war with PAS over hudud for the last year, but PAS has spent the last week bravely telling everyone who would listen that it had no intent to enforce hudud against non-Muslims. Opposition web portals faithfully regurgitated this point at great length.

Whatever Karpal’s other failings, he at least has sense enough to understand the danger that PAS’ actions pose both to Malaysia and to Pakatan Rakyat.

“There’s a lot of concern among the public on what has happened in Kelantan. If hudud is allowed to be applicable to Muslims, there will come (a time that it will) be extended to non-Muslims,” he said.

Karpal further pointed out that PAS has adamantly claimed that any Islamic laws it institutes would not be applied to non-Muslims, while conveniently ignoring the fact that PAS tends to regularly enforce Islamic laws against non-Muslims.

“I hope that the PAS leadership will intervene and do something about it as soon as possible.”

Karpal also took the time to note that on top of the fact that these legal rulings could and should be appealed in court, PAS was merely providing Barisan Nasional with election fodder very close to GE 13.

These are warnings Karpal has sounded time and again since the hudud issue resurfaced over a year ago, to little avail. PAS’ recent Muktamar not only reinforced that hudud was ‘in PAS’ DNA’, but also put on a display to any Malaysian watching that the party has absolutely no interest in moderation.

The complete absence of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has only exacerbated the matter. Anwar’s approach appears to be that the media will only cover the unfolding story of PAS exposing its radical agenda if he is involved – a neat denial of reality and a reminder of why PAS has felt emboldened enough to put forward Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as their choice of Prime Minister.

PAS of course have not limited themselves to hair salons, as the infamous ban on unsegregated cinemas and supermarkets have evolved into raids on businesses in Kelantan in which Muslim and non-Muslim women (and the businesses) are fined for short sleeves and a lack of tudung.

Bizarrely, the Lim Dynasty in Penang are more focused on maintaining solidarity within Pakatan than they are in forcing PAS to keep its promises over the applicability of hudud to Muslims only. This has left Karpal to fight this war alone, on behalf of DAP and its voters, a situation that can only hurt the party at GE 13.

Meantime, Karpal will tell anyone who will listen that the hair salon law can be and should be challenged in court, and he happens to know a lawyer who will take the case.

His party, however, will not.


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