Divisive Islamic party won’t join Malaysia government
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Divisive Islamic party won’t join Malaysia government

A Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) supporter wraps his head with the party's flag as he campaigns for PAS' political coalition, Perikatan Nasional during the campaign period of Malaysia's general election at Permatang Pauh, Penang, Malaysia on Nov 18, 2022. (Reuters file photo)
A Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) supporter wraps his head with the party's flag as he campaigns for PAS' political coalition, Perikatan Nasional during the campaign period of Malaysia's general election at Permatang Pauh, Penang, Malaysia on Nov 18, 2022. (Reuters file photo)

Malaysia’s Islamic party declined to join newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government.

Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, or PAS, which won the most seats of any party in the recent general election, will instead act as a “constructive opposition”, Secretary-General Takiyuddin Hassan said in a statement Saturday.

The decision was made to “respect and trust the mandate of the majority of people, especially the voters who have chosen PAS” and the Perikatan Nasional, the pro-Malay coalition, according to the statement.

PAS captured around one-fifth of parliamentary seats in the Nov 19 election. Its long-stated objective has been to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state and it has for years sought to implement strict religious laws in the eastern states of Kelantan and Terengganu.

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