Radical Muslim political candidates in Malaysia are promising favors from Allah for those who vote for them, and the nation’s chief elections official wants them to cut it out. This is an interesting variation on the worldwide use of religious motivations by jihadists to gain support among Muslims. From the Straits Times, with thanks to Nicolei:
Malaysia’s elections chief has warned that candidates in the national election could forfeit their right to a parliamentary seat if they promised favours from God in exchange for votes – a warning clearly aimed at the Islamic opposition party.
‘How do you justify (saying) that anyone who votes for you will go to heaven? This is illogical and could be disadvantageous to the other candidates,’ said Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, chairman of the Election Commission.
He said politicians elected after making such claims could be stripped of their seats in Parliament.
Tan Sri Abdul Rahman did not mention any party directly, but the government had complained in the past that the fundamentalist Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) had twisted Islam for political gain, including promising supporters entry to heaven.
PAS, which is Malaysia’s largest opposition group and competes directly with Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s Umno party for votes among the predominant ethnic Malay-Muslim community, rejects the allegation.