PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has accused UMNO behind the controversial raid and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and the disruption of the Hindu wedding of Zarinah Abdul Majid to regain power through the backdoor after losing the Selangor state government in two successive general elections.
This was in fact not the only mischief UMNO was up to, as the recent revival of the hudud controversy was another deep UMNO plot to cause dissension and break-up of Pakatan Rakyat.
A study of the recent revival of the hudud controversy will show that it was all initiated by UMNO when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom made the surprise announcement in Parliament during the winding up of the Royal Debate on March 27 declaring that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government was prepared to help the Kelantan State Government to implement hudud law, even suggesting that PAS move a private member’s bill in Parliament on the matter.
That started off what is to become a three-month-long revival of the hudud controversy, plunging the three Pakatan Rakyat component parties of DAP, PAS and PKR to the second crisis to engulf Pakatan Rakyat in the six-year history of the alternative coalition.
The first crisis faced by Pakatan Rakyat was in September 2011 which nearly led to its break-up and was also over the hudud controversy. It was only when Pakatan Rakyat leaders from PAS, PKR and DAP finally reaffirmed the common policy programme proclaimed earlier by PKR, PAS and DAP leaders in the formation of PR as PR’s common priority agenda that PR was saved from an early demise.
If PR had broken up over the hudud controversy in September 2011, then the historic result of the 13th General Elections last May which saw PR winning 52 per cent of electoral vote and reducing the Najib federal administration into a minority government, with PR winning 89 Parliamentary seats and 229 state assembly seats (excluding Sarawak) would not have been achieved.
I had said in April that if hudud had been a hot controversial issue in the 13th General Elections, the Barisan Nasional would have regained its two-thirds parliamentary majority to redelineate electoral constituencies at will while Pakatan Rakyat might have lost Selangor apart from Kedah, and Johor would have reverted to become an invincible Barisan Nasional “fixed deposit” state instead of becoming a ‘front-line state for UBAH’ after May last year.
It was with these political insights that the deep UMNO plot to use the hudud issue to foment dissension and cause a break-up of Pakatan Rakyat must be understood – and thus the extraordinary proposal by Jamil Khir in Parliament on March 27 that the Federal Government was prepared to help the Kelantan State Government to implement hudud, even suggesting that PAS MPs present a private member’s bill on the issue, must be understood in this perspective.
Jamil’s statement in Parliament was completely at odds with the Barisan Nasional official position on hudud, as only on Sept. 25, 2011, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak publicly stated that the Federal Government will not enforce hudud law in Malaysia.
The Star in a report headlined “Najib: No hudud in Malaysia” quoted Najib as saying at the launch of the Tanjong Tualang 1Malaysia Carnival in Perak that although hudud was accepted in Islam, its implementation must be based on reality.
He said: “The aim of an administration according to Islam is based on the maqasid syariah principle, which among others, entails protecting religion, life, morals and property.”
The Prime Minister said under current laws, the principle and objective of maqasid syariah could be championed.
He said there were already elements of hudud in the system “minus the extreme part”.
But in a matter of 30 months, less than 12 months after the 13GE, Najib’s statement of “No hudud in Malaysia” has been replaced with Jamil Khir’s pronoucement in Parliament that the Barisan Nasional federal government was prepared to help the PAS Kelantan State Government to implement hudud laws, even suggesting a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament for the purpose.
Was this drastic change in Barisan Nasional federal government policy on hudud made with the consultation and agreement of leaders and ministers from the other Barisan Nasional component parties, or is this again solely the “personal view” of Jamil?
Unfortunately, instead of taking a stand on principle that any change of Barisan Nasional federal government policy whether on hudud or any other imporant national matter should only be made with the consultation and agreement of all BN parties, MCA and Gerakan decided to play politics by orchestrating a prolonged campaign of vilification against the DAP on the hudud question – though serving the same purpose of the deep UMNO plot to foment dissension and break-up of PR.
However, the contention that Jamil’s March 27 statement in Parliament was only his “personal view” loses credibility when Najib announced in Alor Setar on April 24 that the Barisan Nasional federal government had never rejected hudud.
In these circumstances, leaders of Pakatan Rakyat parties, whether DAP, PAS or PKR should be vigilant so as not to fall victim to the deep UMNO plot to foment dissension and cause break-up of PR, as we must always be mindful of what should the common policy priorities of PR as agreed by the PR leaders when the PR was formed after the 2008 general elections.
This will ensure that the Pakatan Rakyat is not a one-GE wonder, which succumb easily to the plots of UMNO causing dissension, break-up and demise of PR.