The MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai made a very immature and uninformed statement in Jerlun in the Kuala Kangsar by-election campaign when he said that PAS and AMANAH “share the same DNA”, and asked the voters not be duped by DAP once again.
Liow said that liberal factions do not exist within AMANAH or PAS, claiming that “there are only two factions in PAS and AMANAH – extreme or more extreme”.
It is sad that we have national leaders in government in a plural society who do not understand the struggle that is ongoing, not only in Malaysia but world-wide, between an open, broad-minded and inclusive understanding of Islamic politics and a closed, narrow-minded and exclusive exposition of Islamic politics.
In Tunisia, the Ennahda or Renaissance Party, a moderate Islamist political party which is the largest in the Tunisian Parliament, just held a historic national congress under its President Rached Ghannouchi pioneering the development of Islamic politics by separating its religious activities from political ones. Ghannouchi described Ennahda as a “political, democratic and civil party” although its point of reference remain rooted in the values of ancient and modern Islam.
It is worth noting that Tunisia, whose population is 99.8 per cent Muslims, does not have hudud.
One of the leaders of Ennahda, Said Ferjani, in a dialogue with DAP leaders during his visit to Malaysia last August, said ensuring peace and freedom of religion should be the priority in politics, especially among Islamists, even more than implementing hudud.
He refuted assertions that the Islamic penal code should be a prerequisite of faith, relating that even Prophet Muhammad did not implement hudud during his time as a state ruler.
What do we have in Malaysia? A revival of the hudud debate following the success of the Najib-Hadi plot in Parliament on May 26 to distract national attention from Malaysia’s first twin global financial scandals – the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal and the RM4.2 billion “donation” scandal of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Talking about DNA, there is no doubt that the DNA of the present MCA leadership is not only different from the DNA of the DAP leadership, but have mutated and degenerated as compared to the DNA of the early MCA leadership.
The first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman once referred to his relationship with the then MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin, who was his Finance Minister. This is what Tunku wrote:
“It was a real joy to work with Siew Sin. He was a very careful finance minister, sometimes a little bit too careful and I had differences with him over matters of expenditure. I said his tight-fisted policy was not helping the country to get richer.
“One day, he asked me for leave to go to Europe and I readily agreed. Then before he left, he came to have a last discussion with me and asked who would take his place as finance minister. I told him not to worry about that. I would take it over from him. He turned around and said: ‘You finance minister? Then I won’t go on leave.’
“That is the type of man (Siew Sin) was, straight and frank and honest and sincere. I appointed Tun (Abdul) Razak (Hussein) as finance minister and so he went off.”
It would be completely unthinkable for Liow, the present MCA President, to have the DNA of Tan Siew Sin as to be able to be “straight, frank, honest and sincere” in his dealings with the Prime Minister.
The DNA of Siew Sin, Tun H.S.Lee, Tun Ong Yoke Lin, like the founder of MCA Tun Tan Cheng Lock, would not have allowed the two global scandals like the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal and the RM4.2 billion “donation” scandal even to start off in the country – but today, none of the MCA Ministers and leaders dare to stop or even question Najib about the two global financial scandals.
What happened in Parliament on May 26, where Hadi’s hudud bill was fast-tracked to jump ahead of all government official business, was the most disgraceful episode in the 43-year history of Barisan Nasional as it represented a betrayal of what Barisan Nasional had stood for 43 years and what UMNO, MCA and MIC had stood for since Merdeka in 1957.
In fact, what happened in Parliament on May 26 spoke volumes about the great difference between the DNA of the present MCA leadership led by Liow and the early founders and leaders of MCA.
When our children have done a wrong, they must be punished so that they will not repeat their mistakes.
But Liow and the Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong want the people in Sungai Besar by-election to reward Barisan Nasional for the great wrong committed in Parliament on May 26!
Another example of the great divide between the DNA of the present MCA and Gerakan leaders from the DNA of the early MCA leaders is highlighted by the failure and refusal of Liow and Mah in the past two weeks to requisition an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to uphold and reaffirm the BN consensus on the hudud issue, and to repudiate and reprimand Azalina for moving the Ministerial motion without consulting the other 13 member parties of Barisan Nasional.
It is still not too late for Liow and Mah to demand that Barisan Nasional must return to the status quo ante before May 26 parliamentary episode of the Najib-Hadi plot on Hadi’s hudud bill, which is for the Barisan Nasional leadership led by Najib to admit that the Ministerial motion to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill was a great mistake as it violated the Barisan Nasional spirit and consensus for the past 43 years, and to announce that such a mistake to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill would not be repeated in Parliament at the end of the year.
This will be a satisfactory and acceptable conclusion to the two-week controversy over the Ministerial motion in Parliament on May 26 to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill.
Is Liow and Mah capable of getting Najib to make such an announcement and commitment by 15th June 2016 – three days before the polling in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections?
(Speech at the Pakatan Harapan Sungai Besar by-election ceramah in Sungai Besar village on Friday, 10th June 2016 at 9.30 pm)