The central issue today is not whether PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion to amend RU355 would be supported in the present meeting of Parliament, and the merits and demerits of Hadi’s private member’s bill, but whether Barisan Nasional has changed character from a coalition of 13 political parties based on consensus into a coalition under UMNO hegemony, where the other 12 non-UMNO parties do not matter at all as “what UMNO wants, UMNO gets”.
All the leaders and even Ministers from the other 12 non-UMNO parties in the Barisan Nasional have expressed their opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill, including the entire Sarawak state government with the Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Abang Johari Openg directing the four PBB Muslim Ministers and all the 25 Sarawak BN MPs to reject Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.
I want to specifically ask Hadi and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom whether they dare to say that the PBB President, Abang Openg, the four PBB Muslim Ministers – Nancy Shukri, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department; Datuk Fadillah Yusuf, Minister for Works; Datuk Wan Junaidi, Minister for Natural Resources and Environment; and Rohani Abdul Rahman, Minister for Women, Family and Community Development – and all 25 Sarawak BN Members of Parliament are anti-Islam as they are committed to reject Hadi’s private member’s bill motion?
Can Hadi and Jamil Khir explain why there are so many Ministers and MPs in Barisan Nasional who are anti-Islam?
Or could Hadi and Jamil Khir be in the wrong, in wrongly accusing those who reject Hadi’s private member’s bill as anti-Islam?
In the 13th General Election, with 47% of the popular vote but unfair gerrymandering of the electoral constituencies, Barisan Nasional secured 60 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats – 88 UMNO seats and 45 non-UMNO BN seats.
The number of UMNO parliamentary seats have since fallen to 86 with the sacking of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and resignation of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Abang Openg has directed the 25 Sarawak BN MPs to reject Hadi’s private member’s bill motion. The rest of the 20 non-UMNO MPs – made up of seven from MCA, four from MIC, one from Gerakan, and eight from the non-UMNO parties in Sabah BN – have also declared that they opposed Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.
This means that there is no consensus whether in the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council or the Cabinet for the Federal government to give priority for Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in Parliament or for the Federal government to take over Hadi’s private member’s bill after Hadi’s motion had been passed in Parliament.
This could only mean that if Hadi’s private member’s bill motion is given priority to be debated and voted on in the present meeting of Parliament, it is not because of Barisan Nasional consensus whether in Cabinet or the BN Supreme Council but only because of UMNO hegemony in BN.
In such circumstances, there is a complete change in the character of the Barisan Nasional from a coalition of 13 parties based on the principle of consensus into a coalition which is solely based on the hegemony of UMNO, where the relationship purportedly of “equal” parties has been transformed into one with UMNO as the “master” and the other 12 BN parties are mere serfs and subordinates.
In such a total change in the character of BN, if the 45 non-UMNO MPs withdraw their support for Najib as the Prime Minister, Najib’s government will collapse immediately.
This is because UMNO has only 86 MPs out of a total of 222 MPs in Parliament. Even the 14 PAS MPs will not be enough to give Najib a simple majority in a 222-strong Parliament (which requries at least 112 MPs) to continue as Prime Minister.
With the withdrawal of support of the 25 Sarawak BN MPs and the rest of 20 BN MPs, there will be a political and constitutional crisis in Malaysia
The solution is for the formation of a new government and a new Prime Minister who respects principle of consensus and rejects the principle of UMNO hegemony, or the 14th General Elections would have to be held early to resolve the constitutional crisis.
Will such a political scenario take place in Malaysia?
(Speech at the DAP Segamat launch of “Voters Registration” campaign in Segamat on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 10 am)