Liow Tiong Lai, Mah Siew Keong and Subramaniam must not be afraid of Pensiangan Formula, but learn to understand it and present it to the Cabinet as the best way to address political and constitutional stalemate caused by UMNO support for Hadi’s private member’s bill

After MCA’s degeneration into a “7/11 political party”, very few Malaysians paid much attention to sayings and doings of MCA leaders, including Ministers – and I am one of them.

But the Malaysiakini headline yesterday “MCA slams ‘amnesiac’ Kit Siang over hudud bill” aroused my curiosity, for there is some mental life left if one can use words like “amnesiac”!

This led me to read the report but I was bound for a disappointment.

I was accused of having lost my memory and advised to immediately consult a doctor for forgetting that “on Dec 30, 2016, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai had declared that ‘regardless of any bill tabled by the opposition or Umno, if it is against the constitution, MCA will oppose it to the end’.”

I did not forget. I just did not know.

In utter humility, I searched the website of MCA’s official mouthpiece, the Star. It was not there.

For the first time, I visited the MCA website, and it was also not there.

Liow might have told the Chinese media, but that is exactly the point about MCA Ministers and leaders – they say one thing to the Chinese media but a very different thing to UMNO leaders!

May be the only occasion when MCA leaders dare to differ from UMNO leaders is over my relationship with Tun Dr. Mahathir.

UMNO leaders are telling the Malays that Mahathir has become my pawn and puppet, but MCA leaders disagreed, for they are telling the Chinese that I am Mahathir’s pawn and puppet.

Can the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council convene an emergency meeting to resolve this conundrum – whether I am Mahathir’s stooge or Mahathir is my stooge?

Clearly, it has never entered into the mind of MCA leaders that one should have the courage of conviction of one’s beliefs, the dignity and humility to stand by one principles, and one should never forget the injunction 不為五斗米折腰 or bowing for five pecks of price (meaning, unwilling to do anything demeaning for material gain).

I would advise MCA President Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong, the MIC President Datuk S. Subramaniam not to be afraid of the Pensiangan Formula but to learn to understand it and present it to the Cabinet as the best way to address the political and constitutional stalemate created by UMNO’s support for PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Awang Hadi’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).

The Pensiangan Formula comprises two elements, viz:

· Firstly, no government take over of Hadi’s private member’s bill; and

· Secondly, the formation of an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee with the overall objective to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on the Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Rukunegara, and with the specific objective to study Hadi’s private member’s motion, and to make recommendations.

I am very disappointed that Liow, Mah and Subramaniam did not raise the Pensiangan Formula at the Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Even more shocking, the leaders of the three Barisan Nasional leaders dare not raise the subject of the secret UMNO agenda to present a “fait accompli” to the other 13 Barisan Nasional component parties which was revealed by two UMNO leaders when addressing the UMNO Overseas Club Alumni annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 18th December last year:

· The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom revealing that Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) enabled the government to circumvent the due constitutional process, as requiring consensus from all states, the National Islamic Council and the Rulers’ Conference. According to Jamil, the BN government cannot propose such a bill to the Rulers’ Conference if there is no consensus from the 14 states, but a private member’s bill requires only one state or one person to table it.

· The Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Ahmad Mazlan who said that BN component parties will not be able to object against amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) once the relevant bill is taken over by the Federal Government as BN component parties are compelled to support the bill as part of the ruling coalition. Ahmad Mazlan went on to admit that the ulterior objective of UMNO’s support for Hadi’s private member’s bill motion was to cement UMNO’s “unity” with PAS!

Malaysians were dumb-founded when the UMNO and Barisan Nasional secretary-general, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor said last October that all the Barisan Nasional leaders have reached a consensus on Hadi’s private member’s bill.

Was this what Adnan was referring to in October last year – that Liow, Mah and Subramaniam were among the Barisan Nasional leaders who had agreed to the government take-over of Hadi’s private members’ bill when Parliament reconvenes in March, with MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers and MPs voting in support of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion?

Liow, Mah and Subramaniam should explain how they can reconcile MCA, Gerakan and MIC’s so-called opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill and yet want their MPs to vote in support of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in the March Parliament (which will be equivalent to passage of the first reading of Hadi’s private member’s bill), to enable a BN government take-over of Hadi’s private member’s bill to prepare for the second-reading development of the bill?

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