Pas Youth, well-known for their demonstration prowess, decided not to unleash it on Elton John
KUALA LUMPUR: Although the Pahang Pas Youth decided not to demonstrate against the Elton John concert on Tuesday night, it did not mean the movement would refrain from protesting against other future concerts.
The state's movement head, Shahril Azman Abdul Halim said the movement would continue with their protests, depending on issues.
“We will not stop our efforts in opposing any kind of activities that will lead to maksiat (vice),” Shahril Azman said.
The Pahang Pas youth decided not to demonstrate against the Elton John's concert because the threat of having the protest was sufficient to highlight the fact that a "gay icon" was allowed to perform in the state.
Shahril Azman Abdul Halim (pic) also said their main intention was not to demonstrate but to highlight the issue so that the authority, especially the Pahang state religious department would react and stop the concert.
“The reason why we said we would be holding the demonstration is to get our message across to the authority and the religious department,” Shahril Azman said when contacted.
“We wanted our voice to be heard and we believe we have managed to get our message across, even without having to hold the demonstration,” he added.
There have accusations that Pas was backpedalling on the Elton John concert due to pressure from its partners in Pakatan Rakyat, especially the DAP.
Prior to that several opposition leaders including DAP national vice-chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw had said Pas should be flexible and stop trying to impose their values in multi-religious Malaysia.
As such, when the Pahang Pas youth decided to cancel the demonstration, accusations that they had done so due to pressure from other Pakatan leaders came to the fore.
But Shahril dismissed the accusations, describing them as baseless, insisting the reversal in the decision was not influenced by any parties.
“We have our own principles and we are not easily sweet-talked by others. Based on Islamic teachings, it is best for us to alert the people, especially Muslims on the issue and let them decide what’s best for them,” he explained.
When news of Elton John performing in Pahang became public, the Pahang Pas Youth had reacted strongly, demanding the authorities not to allow it, failing which, they would demonstrate against the concert.
On Tuesday night, Elton John performed his first ever concert in Malaysia at the Genting Highlands resort without facing any public protest.
Shahril expressed his frustrations by the lack of action by Pahang Religious Department because despite Pas’ vocal criticisms, the mufti only issued a statement discouraging the Muslims from attending the concert.
“With increasing number of social illnesses in the society including homosexual issues, the government should stop it from becoming the norms. Not allowing a gay performer to entertain the public in Malaysia should be one of the start,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pas vice-president Salahuddin Ayub praised the Pahang Pas youth for deciding against using an aggressive approach in dealing with the matter.
“In this Elton John issue, I believe Pahang Youth has made the best decision in ensuring their voice is heard by all parties in Malaysia,” he said.
The Kubang Kerian MP also said by right the authority and government body should take heed of the opposition calls and act accordingly in curbing the social illness issue in the country.
MCA Youth secretary-general Datuk Chai Kim Sen in a press statement said the cancellation of the protest by Pas was obviously done in consideration for the next general elections.