Thanks to DAP’s opposition and PKR support, PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation will not be passed in Parliament next week.
It is now more than two weeks since the initial claims of the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong that the Cabinet had discussed and taken a stand to oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill and that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would come out with an unequivocal statement declaring UMNO/BN’s opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill.
But these claims have been debunked by two events:
Firstly, Najib’s 15-day silence on the issue, as Liow and Mah had leaked the “exclusive news” that the Prime Minister would be making such an announcement two Fridays ago on 20th March 2015;
Secondly, the denial by three UMNO Ministers, the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamad and the Youth Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin that the Cabinet had discussed, let alone taken a stand on, Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation.
These three UMNO Ministers are virtually calling Liow a “liar” with the MCA President insisting today (Sin Chew) that the Cabinet had discussed Hadi’s private member’s bill at its meetings on March 20 and 27.
MCA and Gerakan nearly brought the nation to a precipice when they betrayed the founding principles not only of their own respective parties, but of Barisan Nasional (and previously Alliance) coalition when they consented to UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen voting in support of PAS Syariah Criminal Enactment 2015.
But the DAP stood firm, not only opposing the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 2015 which was enacted with the unanimous vote of PAS and UMNO Assemblymen in Kelantan, but also declared our firm opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation.
It is fortunate that despite the Prime Minister’s 15-day silence and the ambivalent and ambiguous position of MCA and Gerakan when they could agree to Kelantan UMNO Assemblymen supporting PAS on hudud implementation, the firm stand of DAP together with the support of PKR opposing Hadi’s private member’s bill, the situation has clarified somewhat, as Parliament will not endorse Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation next week.
But the question remains whether Pakatan Rakyat could be salvaged.
DAP’s differences with the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang is larger than just on the issue of hudud, as it is on the fundamental question of trust and honour of political parties and leaders, whether their word is their bond and they can be trusted with their promises and commitments.
DAP, PKR and PAS have entered into a solemn pact to establish the Pakatan Rakyat in 2008 based on a Common Policy Framework to be the basis of the common political struggle to topple UMNO/BN. They also agreed to accept the principle that every policy and decision of PR must be derived from consensus of the three component parties and no individual party or political leader has a veto power over the others.
When these two principles are repeatedly broken by Hadi in Pakatan Rakyat, how can trust and co-operation be restored among the three PR component parties?
As the 14th General Elections is still two or three year away, with the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat coalitions both facing a grave crisis, and if both coalitions cannot be salvaged, Malaysians will have to think the unthinkable of a grand new coalition post-BN, post-PR with a ne w Prime Minister to “Save Malaysia”.
Critics have hurled a variety of accusations against me for proposing a new “unity government” between the DAP and UMNO, of proposing a DAP-PKR-MCA-Gerakan coalition and even insinuating that I am begging to get into Najib’s Cabinet.
Clearly, these critics do not understand what “post-BN, post-PR” means. I am not advocating any “unity government” between DAP and UMNO or BN, or even more far-fetched, any DAP-PKR-MCA-Gerakan coalition.
I have stressed that the new Post-BN, Post-PR Federal Coalition before the 14th GE should be fully inclusive of all Malaysian races, religions and regions, in other words, a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-regional new Malaysian coalition government comprising Muslims and non-Muslims, Malays and non-Malays, and Malaysians from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.
Its top priority is to defend constitutionalism and the rule of law, but these must not be its only concerns.
I have touched on
• Five fundamental principles of defending constitutionalism like Islam as the official religion and freedom of practice for other religions; constitutional monarchy; Bahasa Malaysia as official language and free use and study of other languages and upholding the guarantee and spirit of Federalism in the Malaysia Agreement 1963;
• Ten-Point Programme for a High-Performance, Sustainable and Equitable Economy;
• Nine-Point Agenda to restore the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary as well as the independence, professionalism and integrity of national institutions;
• Seven immediate tasks to promote national unity and understanding among the diverse races, religions and cultures in the country; and
• Six-Point parliamentary and electoral reforms to ensure a clean, free and fair electoral system to restore the sovereignty of the people in a meaningful parliamentary democracy.
These will be the building blocks to establish a post-BN, post-PR grand coalition to ‘Save Malaysia’ before the 14GE.
Is this within the realm of the practical and achievable?