Divisive Islamic party won’t join Malaysia government

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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