Pakatan Harapan Becomes A Reality; Public Caning For Syariah Offences



COMMENT: The stage is set in Malaya.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) is now an official opposition pact and will now submit the leadership line up and the logo to the Registrar of Societies for the formal application.

Consisting of four main parties, Amanah, DAP, PKR, and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), the pact looks hopeful and compact enough to take on the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) this coming elections.

Former Prime Minister, the 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad is named the Chairman, and the Federal opposition leader Wan Azizah Ismail is the President, while the jailed Anwar Ibrahim was symbolically made de facto leader, mirroring his position in PKR.

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang didn’t appear anywhere in the list but his son Guan Eng was made one of the three deputy Presidents together with PPBM’s Muhyiddin Yassin and Amanah’s Mat Sabu.

Mahathir Mohamad and other Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council leaders including PKR’s Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in jovial mood as the face the media after the opposition coalition’s meeting. – Photo credit for the above as well as the featured photo – The Malaysian Insight/Najjua Zulkefli

It is early days yet to worry about who is going to lead the pact; the Chairman or the de facto leader. But they have to resolve this issue soon to make it clear to the people so that PH can be better accepted by the public.

With the wily and experienced Mahathir sitting as Chairman, chances are he will be providing the direction and the strategies for PH in the initial stage.

Prime Minister Najib appears unnerved as Mahathir is definitely a threat. It is obvious he still has clout with the Malay voters, and recently Najib made a reference to Mahathir’s “Indian heritage” in one of his speeches. Whatever the intention was, Najib didn’t live up to his 1Malaysia concept and it was most unbecoming for a Prime Minister of a multi-racial country to go on that path; no matter whether it was said in jest or otherwise.

As for Sabah, in the absence of a Sabahan politician sitting in the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council line up could only mean that the support from here would be negligible.

The four national-based opposition parties that make up Pakatan Harapan. As yet there are no parties from Sabah or Sarawak to have joined them though it is early days yet.

Sabahan opposition parties have no choice but to work out their differences on how best to face the coming elections; by leaving out Sabahan politicians from the line-up, PH is in fact saying, “You are masters of your own destiny, and we see how best we can work together after the elections assuming results go our way.”

Parti Warisan Sabah’s president Shafie Apdal has pointed out that his party will not join the PH pact but is not averse to helping them out in Sabah, as both have the same purpose and that is to knock out Umno-BN. Perhaps, Shafie rather deals with PH from the outside so that he can have more bargaining power. After all, the Semporna strongman has been around for more than two decades and knows what is best. Most, if not all in the PH coalition are his friends anyway, and that means a lot.

If the last election results could be used as a yardstick, half of the Malay voters had dumped UMNO; with Mahathir in the picture now, all out to remove Najib, the picture does not look too good for UMNO in Malaya.

The big question is – are we Sabahans going to prop up UMNO all over again here?

For UMNO voters in Sabah, many are surely thinking that if half of the Malay voters in Malaya are not going to vote for UMNO, why should they be loyal to the party when their own history and emotional attachment to UMNO is not as deep?

Indeed, local UMNO leaders will have a tough time ahead trying to keep everything on an even keel this coming election.


There is nothing sacred in this country anymore, everything worth milking will be politicised to no end.

The news that Kelantan state assembly passed amendments where they will be public caning for 4 syariah offences – zina, false accusations of zina, sodomy and alcohol consumption didn’t go down with many people.

Public caning first started in Sabah in 2014. Now Kelantan is following suit. – Photo for illustration only

Kelantan is not exactly a well-run state under PAS, there are so many other things that should be given priorities to like having clean water for example, illegal logging must be stopped and so forth. There are also high incidences of divorce cases in the state, HIV cases, drug abuse, and other social ills that need to be sorted out first.

Public caning for personal sins will not necessarily make the people more religious. Muslims in the State should be taught to fear God in the proper sense of the word rather than the authorities, who are only people like you and me, and they are not free from sins themselves.

Sharing religious knowledge through an effective form of education is a more merciful way than public punishment which appears barbaric and primitive to most people these days.

If a Kelantanese wishes to sin, what is there to stop him from going over to Thailand which is across the Golok river? And that is happening every day, it’s no big secret.

Politicians should just focus in bringing about a better, progressive life for the people. It is not that difficult, is it?

Before we in Sabah get too excited about public caning in Kelantan, how many of us know that public caning has been meted out as a form of punishment for syariah offences here for a few years already? The article was out in Borneo Today recently – (READ IT HERE:

If the reports are correct between 2014 and 2016 Sabah’s Shariah courts meted out three whipping sentences, including a couple in Tawau who were found guilty of committing adultery. It was also reported that a caning at the court was coincidental as there was a syariah-related seminar at that time, and it was to provide an example to the participants.

I am not going to argue over this but the New York Times recently reported that Acheh, which implements Shariah law, was considering halting public canings to avoid any negative impact on foreign investment, after last May’s caning of two men before a jeering crowd for gay sex drew international headlines.

Has it been worthwhile?