MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, May 30, 2016

Reject hudud, voters in by-elections urged

COMMENT Many - I hope, most - Malaysians will welcome the news that Parti Amanah Negara will contest the two by-elections in Perak and Selangor soon.
It is good news because it provides Malaysians - especially Muslims - an option to the hard-line, intolerant and increasingly extremist Islam propagated by both PAS and Umno.
Today we have three Islamic parties in the country. One is PAS. After the untimely demise of Nik Aziz Nik Mat, PAS has been taken over by Hadi Awang and his hard-liners who want an Islamic state without taking into account the multiracial and multi religious composition of Malaysia.
The second party is Umno which has come under the influence of extremist Middle East elements who have infiltrated into the corridors of power in the civil service, educational system, political sector and other key areas of society.
The third Islamic party is Amanah which is a moderate party which holds no power but is trying hard to make inroads into the Malay community traditionally aligned to PAS and Umno. Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, a member of the central committee of Amanah, has confirmed to me that his party will oppose the Syariah Act Amendment Bill.   
Really only two Islamic parties
Although there are three Islamic parties contesting, actually in terms of ideology, there are only two Islamic parties in the country, not three.
PAS and Umno are really the two sides of the same coin. Increasingly they have the same agenda of ketuanan Islam and ketuanan Melayu.
Increasingly their hunger for power and dominance is fed by the dakwah missionary groups and ulama who work with the politicians to reinforce Islamic and Malay dominance.
The latest evidence that these two parties are conspiring to bring about an Islamic state can be seen in the decision of Umno to expedite the tabling of PAS’s Hudud Bill. This is not an allegation made by the opposition parties.
It comes from Umno’s newspaper mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia. The Umno-owned daily’s editors have said that the cooperation of the two parties demonstrates how both were willing to cast aside their ideological differences to strike consensus - in other words - to work together.
“Awang (a pseudonym for the editors) hopes that this Bill will bring significant meaning to the cooperation between PAS and BN, especially when facing issues of common interest. It also shows a political maturity that transcends ideological boundaries,” according to the editors.
Readers should note how Utusan writes about “BN’s cooperation” when in fact it is Umno alone in the Barisan which is in favour of this cooperation. All the other BN parties have rejected the proposed bill.
Talk about dishonesty and media spin - this is an example of how Utusan works to deceive the Malay readers.
Also according to Utusan, “PAS wants to prove its intention (to introduce hudud) is not just political talk.”
Confirmation of PAS-Umno cooperation also comes from PAS Youth leader Nik Abduh Nik Aziz, who thanked Umno for bringing the bill from the bottom of the parliamentary pile to the top.
Nik Abduh admitted that without cooperation from Umno, the Private Member’s Bill would not have been slated for debate.
He also said: “We will highlight this issue (hudud) in the by-elections.” According to him, voters in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar would be given an “early explanation” on the issue.
Whipping and amputation in public
Voters in the by-elections and all Malaysians will be looking forward to hearing how PAS plans to carry out whipping sentences in public.
According to Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah in a recent Utusan interview, PAS has all the infrastructure necessary for the implementation of the Islamic penal code, such as methods on whipping and amputation, as well as the officials to carry out the punishments.
“We want to impose up to 40 and 100 strokes. The location is currently set in prison. But if we want to do it publicly, we can do that, too.”
For now, Kelantan can only legislate under Shariah law against alcohol consumption, extramarital sex that can be punished with 100 strokes of whipping, and false accusation of adultery.
But once the legislation is approved, we can expect punishments of stoning, amputating hands for theft, amputating hands and feet for robbery, and the death sentence for apostates to come into effect since Kelantan’s Shariah Criminal Code II Enactment 1993 (Amendment 2015) legislates against those three offences, as well as apostasy, theft and robbery.
Three months ago I wrote: “I am helping Amanah. I know from personal friendships that Amanah has very good people in it. They are not the extremist, close minded or hypocritical elements which have given Islam a bad name among non-Muslims. They are also - I hope that I am correct - not intent on pushing for a Wahhabi or Arabic model of development for Malaysia. This will be tantamount to putting us under a new form of colonialism.
“We have to give them a chance at bringing a clean, inclusive, open-minded and liberal Islam into the political system.”
Today, May 30, 2016, The Star carries comments from the leaders of MCA and MIC - Wee Ka Siong and Dr S Subramaniam. Both of them say they will quit their cabinet posts if PAS’ Private Member’s Bill is passed.
In the coming by-elections, everyone knows that PAS and Umno will try to kill off Amanah as Amanah is their main enemy and target.

Voters in the two constituencies - Malays and non-Malays - must rally behind Amanah to make sure that the party can stay alive. They must send a message to PAS and Umno that their brand of hard-line Islam is not acceptable to Malaysians as it will destroy our harmonious society.
We have enough hypocrisy, hatred and extremism already; not to mention too many Malaysians with amputated limbs.
Let us not inflict on our country a punishment system that is primitive, arbitrary, out of step with a modern world and more in tune with the societies run by the Taliban and Islamic State (IS).      

KOON YEW YIN, a retired chartered engineer, is a philanthropist. -Mkini

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