The independent pollster Merdeka Centre has found that nearly three in five Malaysians think the country is not prepared to implement the controversial hudud Islamic penal law.
Its survey on hudud in April found that a total of 59 per cent of the Malaysians polled shared this sentiment, with 58 per cent of Malays believing so while 59 per cent of Chinese and 61 per cent of Indians gave the same response.
Just 25 per cent of respondents — and 30 per cent of Malays — believed that Malaysia is ready to introduce hudud now.
Just over half of Malaysians also said they believed that hudud will not be implemented fairly with the judiciary and law enforcement currently in place. Only 32 per cent felt it would be implemented fairly.
Only 56 per cent of Malaysians polled said they understand the law, with only 14 per cent understanding it “a great deal”.
Those who did not understand it included 62 per cent of Chinese and 49 per cent of Indians polled.
I think a more rigorous poll is needed for the result to be more credible, but whatever the flaws of the survey, what is indisputable is that for the first time in the nation’s history, Malaysia will be divided down the middle if hudud laws are implemented – as reflected by the rather conservative findings of Merdeka Centre that 59 per cent of Malaysians polled think the country is not prepared to implement the hudud law, with just 25 per cent believed that Malaysia is ready to introduce hudud now; over half of Malaysians who believed that hudud will not be implemented fairly with the judiciary and law enforcement currently in place as compared to 32 per cent who felt it would be implemented fairly; and 56 cent of Malaysians who said they don’t understand hudud, with only 14 per cent understanding it “a great deal”.
It will the greatest disaster for nearly six decades of nation-building and the biggest mockery of Vision 2020 of a united developed nation status for Malaysia in 2020 if hudud is implemented, creating irreconcilable and multiple divisions and conflicts, like Muslims vs non-Muslims, liberal Malays/Muslims vs conservative Malays/Muslims, Sabah/Sarawak vs Putrajaya/ Peninsular Malaysia, etc.
The immediate outcome of the implementation of hudud will be the break-up of Malaysia, for it is inconceivable that Sarawak and Sabah, which formed Malaysia in 1963 on the specific understanding that Malaysia shall be a secular state with Islam as the official religion of the Federation, can agree to any such fundamental violation of the constitutional compact in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
But well before the end-game of a break-up of Malaysia because of flagrant violation of basic constitutional guarantees in the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and the 1963, there will be a string of other casualties.
For instance, I dare predict that Pakatan Rakyat will become a Brazil in 2014 World Cup in 14GE if it fails to stay true to the PR Common Policy Programme and falls into the Umno/BN trap to destroy it with the hudud ploy
In the past three-and-a-half months, UMNO/BN had mounted a conspiracy to break up Pakatan Rakyat with the hudud ploy, with the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom making the first move in Parliament 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 the revival of the hudud controversy, plunging the three Pakatan Rakyat component parties of DAP, PAS and PKR to the second crisis of survival 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 demise 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.
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” had been replaced with Jamil Khir’s pronouncement 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 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 important 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 mischievous UMNO plot to foment dissension and break-up of PR.
The MCA/Gerakan contention that Jamil’s March 27 statement in Parliament was only his “personal view” loses total credibility when Najib announced in Alor Setar on April 24 that the Barisan Nasional federal government had never rejected hudud.
The third ploy in the UMNO/BN conspiracy to entrap and divide Pakatan Rakyat on the hudud issue was the motion by the Umno Selangor Assemblyman for Sungai Air Tawar Kamarol Zaki Abdul Malik in the Selangor State Assembly in June to push for the implementation of hudud.
But this UMNO motion in Selangor Asembly had to be hastily withdrawn when it was accepted by the Selangor Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh and UMNO learnt that the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat State Assembly members from DAP, PKR and PAS were united on the issue and had decided in a pre-council meeting to vote against the UMNO Selangor motion on hudud in keeping with the PR Common Policy Framework that justice, freedom and good governance and not hudud were the common PR agenda priorities.
In these circumstances, leaders of Pakatan Rakyat parties, whether DAP, PAS or PKR should be vigilant so as not to fall victim to the 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.
UMNO/BN parties, especially UMNO, MCA and Gerakan, should stop “playing with fire” to try to destabilize and divide the Pakatan Rakyat with the hudud ploy and instead should focus on national issues as the common top priorities whether of Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat – how to ensure that Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or political beliefs can live in peace and harmony to fully develop our human, economic, educational, environmental and national resources and potentials, in a framework of justice, freedom and good governance where there is no corruption, cronyism and all forms of abuses of power.