Barisan Nasional’s overwhelming victory in the May 7 Sarawak state general election was the reason why the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, could give the green light to the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang to prioritise his hudud private member’s bill motion in Parliament on Thursday.
Najib could act in disregard of the views of the other Barisan Nasional component parties and leaders apart from UMNO because Najib believes that there is a a swing-back of support of the Chinese voters to Barisan Nasional in the Sarawak state general election.
The hue-and-cry by leaders of other Barisan Nasional parties apart from UMNO, whether MCA, MIC, Gerakan or the Sabah and Sarawak parties, protesting their opposition to Hadi’s motion pales into insignificance against the backdrop of three factors:
(1) The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Said Othman would not have stood up after the lunch break of Parliament on Thursday to move a motion to give priority to Hadi’s motion ahead of all government business without the directive from the Prime Minister himself.
(2) The prioritization of Hadi’s hudud motion was a Barisan Nasional decision, as Azalina was a Minister not of the UMNO but Barisan Nasional Government, and this is the first (and clearly not the last time) when the UMNO leaders would decide on behalf of the Barisan Nasional, with or without the consent or knowledge of the other parties in Barisan Nasional.
(3) As the Cabinet meeting on Friday did not repudiate or reprimand Azalina’s action in Parliament to prioritise Hadi’s hudud motion (actually, there could be no repudiation or reprimand as Azalina was acting under Najib’s instruction), a dangerous precedent has been set establishing the hegemony of UMNO in Barisan Nasional, where the other 13 component BN parties have just ornamental roles or value.
What happened in Parliament on Thursday also proved three things:
(i) That UMNO and the other 13 Barisan Nasional component parties have ceased to be trustworthy parties, as they had promised the people that what happened in Parliament on Thursday would never happen, and yet it happened – with no repudiation or reprimand in the Cabinet yesterday against the Minister.
(ii) Although there are 14 non-UMNO and two independent Ministers in the 35-member Cabinet, the non-UMNO Ministers have no real role or value in the Cabinet as their position in the Cabinet is only of ornamental value. The Najib-Hadi agreement to give priority to Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in Parliament on Thursday provided the strongest proof of this sad political reality in Malaysia.
(iii) That UMNO-PAS or to be more exact Najib-Hadi conspiracy to prioritise Hadi’s hudud private member’s motion is being made the biggest issue in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, so that Najib’s world financial scandal – the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal – could be downplayed and overshadowed, even though there is a world-wide investigation and crackdown against banks and individuals for 1MDB money laundering and corruption offences.
(Media Conference Statement Komtar, Penang on Saturday, 28th May 2016 at 12 noon)