Last Thursday, the MCA mouthpiece, The Star, devoted the whole of its front-page to PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s motion with the headline “Solid ‘NO’ to Hadi’s Bill”, featuring the quotes and pics from leaders of five Barisan Nasional leaders, namely from MCA, Gerakan, MIC, PBB and PBS, including:
*“The bottom line is that MCA will oppose it. We will not support a Bill from the Opposition, especially from PAS. There can never be two systems of law in this country. We cannot accept it nor close an eye to this.” – MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
*“We remain opposed to Hadi’s Bill. Having two separate legal systems…will not only create confusion and an open-ended environment for opportunists but also tear the country apart.” – Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mak Siew Keong.
*“MIC vehemently opposes Hadi’s Bill. We need a proper dialogue to hear the views of Muslim and non-Muslim MPs. We do not want two contradictory legal systems. The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land.” – MIC deputy president S.K. Devamany.
But something happened before Parliament reconvened on Thursday morning, setting in motion a series of events in the next few months for all the Gerakan, MCA and MIC Ministers and leaders to start “eating their words”.
Mah and Liow were both in Parliament on Thursday morning when Hadi stood up to amend his private member’s motion and bill, and it would appear that both Mah and Liow knew beforehand what Hadi was going to amend, and that they had agreed to Hadi’s amendment.
For this reason, I call on Mah and Liow, as well as the leaders of the other BN parties, to explain clearly and unambiguously, whether it is true that they had agreed to support Hadi’s amended private member’s motion provided Hadi’s private member’s bill is taken over by UMNO as a government bill in the March meeting of Parliament. This means Hadi’s private member’s motion and bill will disappear from the parliamentary agenda.
The leaders of Gerakan, MCA, MIC and the Sabah/Sarawak BN parties seem to have a problem understanding the meaning of “Barisan Nasional consensus” – which must be a decision collectively agreed by all the BN component parties and not one which is just imposed by UMNO hegemony.
Let Mah, Liow and the leaders of the other BN parties confirm or deny that they had agreed and authorised UMNO to take over Hadi’s private member’s motion, and that their MPs would vote in support in Parliament so long as Hadi’s private member’s motion is replaced by an official bill of the Barisan Nasional government!
[Speech (2) at the Teluk Intan DAP Branch dinner to celebrate 50th DAP Anniversary in Teluk Intan on Sunday, 27th November 2016 at 9 pm]