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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Of wet dream, nightmare and Marty McFly

ART HARUN

I have not seen the Buku Jingga, let alone read it. I wonder what Pakatan Rakyat says about hudud. Or whether Pakatan Rakyat says anything about it at all.

Whatever public posturing Pakatan Rakyat puts up in relation to hudud, everybody knows that in hudud resides an issue within Pakatan Rakyat which is potentially explosive and may ultimately be destructive. Everybody knows that. Pakatan Rakyat knows that. And Tun Dr Mahathir, unfortunately to Pakatan Rakyat, also knows that.

While the Barisan Nasional, particularly UMNO, was busy trying to out-manoeuvre Mat Sabu in history 101 and the Prime Minister eagerly venturing into a state of “coolness” and “sempoi-neity”, Tun Dr Mahathir had other ideas. His was a meister stroke of all political strokes in Malaysia. That’s because he knows what hurts the most as well as when and where to execute the hurting blow.

So, in an interview one day he threw a seemingly harmless challenge to PAS. PAS has always maintained that he (Tun DrM) was the reason why it could not implement hudud in Kelantan. Tun DrM then asked why hasn’t PAS written to Prime Minister Najib to implement hudud as he (Tun DrM) is now no more the PM.

Those of you who of my generation will remember the character Marty McFly from the Back to the Future trilogy – to digress, I wonder when Hollywood is going to remake this film – apart from the totally cool and sempoi DeLorean DMC-12 in the movie. Marty boy was a smart kid. Very nice and mild-mannered boy. Quite cool and level headed too. That was until the antagonist started calling him “chicken”. Upon being called “chicken”, Marty McFly would lose all his good manners and level-headedness. He would turn reckless and completely berserk. He would even do really stupid things.

Tun DrM knew all the while that hudud is to PAS and Tuan Guru Nik Aziz what “chicken” was to Marty McFly. Mention the word “hudud” and Tuan Guru Nik Aziz would instantly go ape and all bananas. The whole PAS would grimace in orgasmic pleasure like a 13 year old after his first wet dream. That would in turn be a nightmare for Pakatan Rakyat. In Pakatan Rakyat, DAP’s stand on hudud is clear. DAP is against hudud. As for PKR, well, it depends on what day the issue is raised and on which side of the bed Anwar Ibrahim wakes up that day.

TDM knows very well that hudud will cause Pakatan Rakyat to lose its “pakatan”. His challenge was a calculated move to throw Pakatan Rakyat into shambles. That was exactly what had happened after his challenge.

TGNA firstly dismissed as laughable suggestions by TDM that Kelantan can now implement hudud now that TDM has retired. He then challenged the present Prime Minister to withdraw Putrajaya’s objection to the implementation of hudud in Kelantan. If TGNA was politically savvy, he would have stopped there.

No, he did not.

TGNA then continued to meet with Prof Aziz Bari and Dr Dzulkefli Ahmad on 25thSeptember 2011 to discuss the implementation of hudud in Kelantan and gave assurance that hudud will only affect Muslims and will not be imposed on non-Muslims. (the full report ishere).

DAP, quite expectedly, responded. Karpal went into amok mode. Lim Guan Eng, meanwhile, said that the party’s entire Central Executive Committee would resign from their position in the party if hudud was ever included in Pakatan Rakyat’s Common Policy Framework or Buku Jingga.

The Star newspaper of course saw this as an opportunity. On 25th September it apparently reported what Guan Eng said above. However on 26th September, the Star apparently modified the news to report that Guan Eng had threatened the resignation of the DAP’s leadership from Pakatan Rakyat.

The water gets even murkier when Anwar Ibrahim, quite recklessly (politically) said that he supports the Kelantan State Government’s move to implement hudud (see here for the report). He later clarified his statement saying that all decisions affecting the people will have to be based on consensus within Pakatan Rakyat. He was quoted as saying:

“We hold firm to the conviction that any issue which affects the interest of the people must be discussed frankly in a civilized manner with the objective of seeking an amicable resolution.”

That statement actually does not add or detract to what he had earlier said, namely, that he thinks hudud can be implemented in Kelantan. This was what he said earlier:

For now, in general, in principle, I believe this can be implemented…It is a specific area that affects Muslims and does not impeach rights of non-Muslims. The proceeding makes sure that administration of justice is guaranteed. "

By then a full storm was brewing within Pakatan Rakyat. PAS was again, showing its true colours.

I have always maintained that PAS could never shirk its aspiration for an Islamic State, namely, a state which is based on and run in accordance with the Sharia’ah laws and regulations. That has always been PAS’ drum beat and no amount of political posturing or word-spinning could hide that fact.

In recent times, PAS has added the Negara Kebajikan (welfare state) to its wordy armoury. This is all well and good, if not for TGNA’s and PAS’ recent hudud posture. TGNA could and would have done really well against Tun DrM’s harmless statement had he stuck to the welfare state agenda. But as I had said earlier, hudud is to TGNA and PAS what chicken was to Marty McFly.

This episode clearly shows that Pakatan Rakyat is full of inconsistent interests and ideologies. And the people within PR are prone to making reactive and self-destructive political statements or moves. That Pakatan Rakyat, especially PAS and DAP, managed to throw themselves into the large political hole that Tun DrM had dug right in front of them is almost comical.

To cap it up, PR then imposed a gag order against making or issuing any statement on the hudud issue until a meeting of top leaders scheduled to take place soon. Has Pakatan Rakyat ditched its own freedom of speech agenda? Or does Pakatan Rakyat now believe that its leaders are not capable of engaging each other on an important issue in a civil and rational manner? Which is which? Will the real Pakatan stand up please?

Amidst all these political gimmickry overdrives, the Prime Minister, fresh from scoring major political points after his announcement on the eve of Malaysia Day recently, made another major impact on the non-Muslim citizenry as well as urban Muslims, when he quicklyannounced that the Barisan Nasional will not implement hudud.

It is a brave announcement. It takes a whole lot of guts to say so, especially in current UMNO/Malaysia political climate where race and religion issues are championed by everybody from the likes of Zulkifli Noordin to Ibrahim Ali’s PERKASA.

That statement leaves Pakatan Rakyat and especially Anwar Ibrahim looking lame.

It is a calculated and clever statement. Politically the Prime Minister gave nothing and gained everything by saying so. PAS, TGNA and Anwar could have said so too. The reason is simple. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic-faiths society. Its Parliament is not filled with Muslim MPs only. It is filled with Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and various other mixture of faiths and races.

Any move by any party to amend the Constitution in order to implement the Sharia’ah or hudud will require a two-third majority to succeed. If such move is made, it is certain that for the first time in Malaysian Parliamentary history, Members of Parliament will vote in accordance with their respective belief and faith. Which means, it will also be the first time MPs will not be cowed to vote in accordance with their party’s whip or wish. That will also mean that for the first time ever, we will witness a clear separation in our Parliament of MPs voting along racial and religious line.

It will be THAT divisive.

To me, hudud is a Constitutional impossibility. It will remain impossible until two-third of the membership of our Parliament is filled not only by Muslim MPs, but by Muslim MPs who actually wish to implement hudud.

By doing that too, we will effectively be surrendering this country to the ulamaks and mullahs, upon whose hands syaria’ah compliant laws and regulations will be entrusted.

Just as we now entrust what is halal to eat, drink, wear and use to JAKIM.

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