KUALA LUMPUR • Two prominent leaders of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), which publicly eschews ostentatiousness, have found themselves in the spotlight after critics revealed their apparent taste in luxury vehicles amid accusations that rival party Umno had donated RM90 million (S$28.6 million) to the Islamist party.
The new spiritual leader of PAS, Mr Hashim Jasin, has a Porsche Cayman registered to his name.
And the information chief of its Ulama (clerics) wing, Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali, has just bought an Audi Q7, a large sport utility vehicle, for his wife.
Mr Hashim, who was appointed PAS spiritual leader last October, said while the car was registered to his name, it belongs to his businessman son.
Mr Hashim was raised to his current post following the deaths of two previous revered spiritual leaders of the party, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat in February 2015 and Datuk Haron Din in September last year.
This is a petty issue. I have a right to buy anything I want. I could even buy a lorry or a plane, it is none of their business.
DATUK KHAIRUDDIN AMAN RAZALI, on buying an Audi Q7 SUV for his wife, who posted a photo of the purchase on her Facebook page. A new Q7 sells in Malaysia from about RM525,000.
Mr Hashim is a lawmaker in the Perlis state assembly, allowing him to import a car for his use with lower taxes using an Approved Permit.
"I have explained that the car belongs to my son who bought it in England last year for about RM100,000," Mr Hashim told the Sinar Harian newspaper in January.
He added that he was a passenger only once in the car.
PAS has been fighting rival Malay party Umno for decades but the two have, in recent months, become closer to promote the Islamic agenda. This has led to open accusations by PAS critics that Umno had donated RM90 million to PAS.
PAS has threatened to sue those making the claims.
Mr Hashim said recently that he would not be driving a local Proton car if the party had received RM90 million, which led critics to unearth the Porsche Cayman registration.
Defending his leader, PAS Youth leader Khairil Nizam Khairudin told Malaysiakini this month: "If we had in fact received RM90 million we would use (it) to uphold Islam and help the rakyat (ordinary people), not buy cars."
Last week, the high-profile Datuk Khairuddin was furious when it was pointed out on social media that he had bought an Audi Q7 for his wife.
A new Q7 in Malaysia is sold from about RM525,000.
The purchase came to be known to the public when his wife, Datin Norhayati Abd Malek, posted a photo of a white Q7 on her Facebook page, saying that it was a "gift" from her husband.
Datuk Khairuddin is often in the media as he defends PAS' conservative public policy.
"This is a petty issue. I have a right to buy anything I want.
"I could even buy a lorry or a plane, it is none of their business," he told The Star online.
Datuk Khairuddin also chided "socialist groups who liked to pick on the matter".
"I bought the car using legitimate sources and I could afford it," he said. Datuk Khairuddin and his wife sell beauty products.