It is a week since my speech at the “Kukuhkan Pakatan, Hancurkan Barisan” Ceramah Perdana organized by PAS Kota Baru last Sunday, and I have still to be shown where I had “hina Islam, hina hudud, hina Muslim, hina PAS” in my speech although both the transcript and the video of my speech in Kota Baru are available on the Internet.
Instead, some PAS leaders have continued their heavy artillery over my speech in Kota Baru, culminating in the demand by the PAS Syura Council secretary demanding that I apologise to PAS members for my speech questioning the proposed implementation of hudud law in Kelantan.
I have been wondering in the past week why my speech at the “Kukukhan Pakatan, Hancurkan Barisan” ceramah had elicited such irrational, emotional and even panicky reactions especially by certain Kelantan PAS leaders.
May be some Kelantan PAS leaders believe that the issue of hudud implementation in Kelantan is the only trump card they have to save PAS from losing Kelantan after being power for six terms from the 1990 general elections, but it does not speak much for their democratic credentials and commitment for them to take the position that any decision taken by the Kelantan State Assembly is sacrosanct and cannot be debated or questioned.
Do they want me to be untruthful and even hypocritical in pretending that the hudud issue would be the saviour not only of PAS but also of Pakatan Rakyat – in Kelantan and in all other states as well as nationally in the next general election?
I would in fact owe the people of Kelantan and Malaysia an apology if I had failed to speak truthfully and honesty at the “Kukukhan Pakatan, Hancurkan Barisan” ceramah, pointing out that Pakatan Rakyat would lose the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to topple UMNO and Barisan Nasional not only in Putrajaya but in seven states, namely Terengganu, Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor if Pakatan Rakyat could not build on the breakthrough and momentum achieved in the 13th General Election two years ago.
If hudud had been a hot controversial issue in the 13th General Election on May 5, 2013, the UMNO/Barisan Nasional coalition would not only have regained its two-thirds parliamentary majority, Pakatan Rakyat would have lost Selangor apart from Kedah, and Johor would have reverted as an invincible UMNO/Barisan Nasional “fixed-deposit” state.
Past general elections have proven that hudud issue was never a vote winner for PAS, and Terengganu provides the best illustration.
In the 10th General Election in 1999, PAS and PKR won all eight parliamentary and 28 out of 32 state assembly seats in Terenganu because of the backlash against UMNO arising from Anwar Ibrahim’s “black eye” and the Reformasi movement.
But despite the passing of the Terengganu state hudud enactment in 2001 (which caused the break-up of Barisan Alternative), PAS and PKR only managed to retain 1 out of 8 parliament seats and 4 out of 28 state assembly seats in the 11th General Election in 2004 – losing the Terengganu State Government in the process.
If hudud was a leading campaign issue in the 13th General Elections in 2013, PR would not have achieved the good electoral results of 89 Parliamentary seats and 229 State Assembly seats, as any increase in Malay support for the Pakatan Rakyat parties would be negligible while the loss of non-Malay support for PR candidates would be very significant.
DAP, PAS and PKR achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly results during their tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections as compared to all previous general elections.
In the case of PAS, from a regional party confined largely to its “northern” heartland of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, PAS had gone “national” in the 13th General Election with parliamentary and/or State Assembly representation in every state in Peninsular Malaysia, except for Negri Sembilan.
All these gains will go to nought if hudud had been a hot controversial issue in the 2013 general election, or if Pakatan Rakyat is forced to disintegrate because of the failure to uphold the PR Common Policy Framework.
The issue of “Kukuhkan Pakatan, Hancurkan Barisan” would be chimerical if Pakatan Rakyat ends up on the rocks, as the victors will be UMNO/Barisan Nasional, while the losers will be the healthy democratic development in Malaysia leading to the ousting of UMNO/BN from Putrajaya and seven state government in the 14th General Elections.
The ball is in PAS’ court, whether it is prepared to reaffirm its commitment to the PR Common Policy Framework and stop unilaterally pushing for hudud implementation which is both against the PR Common Policy Framework and the PR principle of consensus in the highest PR decision-making process since the formation of PR in 2008.
If anybody should apologise, it should be those who had unilaterally and arbitrarily violated the PR Common Policy Framework and the operational PR principle of consensus in the past six years, offering up to UMNO and Barisan Nasional a route to salvation by destroying PR.