Islamic party fields non-Muslim candidate in Malaysia

Malaysia's Islamic party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has fielded a non-Muslim as one of its candidates.

Islamic party fields non-Muslim candidate in Malaysia

Kumutha Raman, a 29-year old law graduate, was presented to local media on Thursday.

She will contest the Tiram state seat under the banner of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat, a coalition between PAS and the People's Justice Party (PKR), formed to challenge the ruling Barisan Nasional.

Barisan Nasional is the government coalition controlled by prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

PAS's election choice is the latest in a series of overtures aimed at attracting non-Muslim votes at the election scheduled for 8 March.

Known for its Islamic policies, PAS has recently dropped its call to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state and is instead campaigning for better quality of life and racial equality.

Its manifesto calls for the national oil and gas company Petronas to be placed under parliamentary control, lower prices of fuel and food, and free education up to university level and free healthcare.

At the previous election, held in 2004, the PAS called for the creation of an Islamic state.

At a national level, PAS won only seven parliamentary seats, which represented a significant decrease from the 27 parliamentary seats it had won in the 1999 general election.

It plans to contest 65 of the 222 seats in the forthcoming ballot.

Almost 11 million of Malaysia's 27 million people are eligible to vote.

Voting is not mandatory, and recent voter turnouts have typically ranged between 70 and 75 percent.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Şubat 2008, 17:45