By WONG KAH WOH
LETTER: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah and its President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup should stop living in its denial syndrome and should be brave to rise up against the collaboration of UMNO-PAS in Hadi’s Private Members’ Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).
Kurup had accused DAP and the Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang for trying to promote “political hatred” in Sabah, in response to Kit Siang’s recent visit to Pensiangan.
I was with Kit Siang during the 3-day visit to Sabah Pedalaman a week ago, and I had never heard a single word from him which resorted to any element of political and religious extremism as claimed by Joseph Kurup. Instead, the visit had resulted in the DAP putting forward the Pensiangan Formula, to address the political and constitutional crisis created by Hadi’s Bill, and to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution.
Kurup had not responded positively to the Pensiangan Formula. It is regretted to note that Kurup has instead resorted to the reaction ala-UMNO, by putting up a trumped-up charge against DAP for “promoting political hatred”. This tactic is never strange in the politics of UMNO whereby Kit Siang had been demonized in the past 51 years and defamed as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers by UMNO.
Kurup is in a state of denial syndrome when he failed to acknowledge the role and the plot played by its BN’s Supremo UMNO in Hadi’s Bill.
It will only be accurate for Kurup to say that Hadi’s Bill was initiated by the collaboration between UMNO and PAS. It was UMNO’s Minister Jamil Khir’s parliamentary statement in 27th March, 2014 which stated that the Federal Government was ready to work with the PAS Kelantan State Government to implement the hudud law in Kelantan, had eventually led to a joint Putrajaya (BN) and Kelantan (PAS) technical committee on the implementation of Islamic Criminal Laws.
The whole episode was followed by the tabling of Hadi’s Bill, which was granted priority twice by the BN-led Government, against others Government Bills in May and November last year.
DAP has since broken up with PAS as a result of the stubbornness of the latter for allowing themselves to fall into the trap of UMNO and caused the break of the then Pakatan Rakyat.
The Pakatan Harapan and DAP have isolated the political influence of PAS, which is at its weakest state since 2008 with 14 MPs. Without the collaboration from UMNO, Hadi’s Bill ought to merely be remaining on the Parliamentary order papers.
The reason of UMNO’s persistence on this issue is largely due to silence of the BN component parties, even until the stage today where the Prime Minister Najib Razak had announced for the government taking over of Hadi’s Bill.
The people of Sabah and Malaysia had been kept in dark on whether the BN component parties had ever consented to the said taking over.
Let us remind all BN component parties, including PBRS, that UMNO and PAS with their combined 102 Members of Parliament, 88 from UMNO and 14 from PAS, will not be able to get Hadi’s Bill through without the support from the MPs from 13 other BN’s component parties, including the 8 Sabah non-UMNO MPs. UMNO will risk losing the Federal and Sabah’s power if the other 13 BN component parties withdraw from its support for UMNO.
Will PBRS and Kurup dare to be the first BN component party to make the right call in isolating UMNO’s political influence, by withdrawing its coalition in UMNO, and force the fulfilment of the first limb of Pensiangan Formula, i.e. no government taking over of Hadi’s Bill? This will be the vital first step for the restoration of the national unity and inter-religious harmony in Malaysia.
- Wong Kah Woh is National DAPSY Chief and the State Assemblyman for Canning (Perak).