PAS leaders warned the federal government today its members will “rise” if action were to be taken now to penalise its volunteer unit, which it said has been around for over 20 years.
Arguing that its Unit Amal was a charity organisation, Temerloh MP and former PAS youth chief Nasruddin Hassan said its members will not stay still in the face of Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s threat earlier today against the volunteer Corp.
“I urge Datuk Zahid Hamidi not to mistakenly victimise Jabatan Amal through narrow political ideology as we will rise up because I am one of the members of Jabatan Amal Malaysia,” Nasruddin said in a brief statement, using the official name for PAS’ volunteer charity Corp.
Zahid—whose ministry oversees homeland security—said he was very sure the police will crack down on Unit Amal as he considers the group to have the same status as the Penang Volunteer Patrol Unit (PPS), which the police deemed illegal.
Police detained 155 members of the PPS yesterday after the Merdeka Day parade in Penang, on grounds that the organisation is not registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat, whose party wing oversees Unit Amal’s operations, said it was baffling that the authorities are targeting the unit when all it has done was extend welfare and humanitarian aid to Malaysians across the country.
“Jabatan Amal has served for more than 20 years and there were times it cooperated with the police and government agencies, suddenly it is made a scapegoat. I do not understand this Zahid,” he said in a statement on his Facebook page today.
PAS Kuala Terengganu MP Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah said it is regressive for the authorities to crackdown on civil society movements such as PPS and Unit Amal, which fulfil a “fundamental need” for the public to organise themselves for their own well-being.
He claimed that the authorities have given “anarchists and right wing groups” free reign while “well-meaning peaceful groups” suffer the brunt of persecution, leaving the less-fortunate with nowhere else to turn while VVIPs take all the spoils.
“Merdeka also means having the liberty to be able to look out for our own welfare and safety,” he said in a statement – themalaymailonline