December 29 Kelantan State Assembly special sitting to implement hudud will be a point of no return for both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat

The December 29 Kelantan State Assembly special sitting to implement hudud will be a point of no return for both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

The stand of the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn were crystal clear, that hudud laws are at variance with Malaysia’s Constitution that Malaysia is a secular state.

This was also the position of the other MCA and MIC founding fathers of the nation, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tun V.T. Sambanthan – as well as Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu who was the second MCA President in 1958 and subsequently left MCA and became the second President of Gerakan from 1969 – 1980.

Indisputably, this was also the position of all the founding fathers of Malaysia from Sabah and Sarawak.

If the Kelantan UMNO Assemblymen are allowed to vote in support of the proposal to implement hudud at the Kelantan State Assembly special sitting on Dec. 29, the whole character and basis of Barisan Nasional would have undergone its most radical transformation in the history of the ruling government coalition in the country.

What more, if this is done without any meeting or resolution of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council or any effort by the other Barisan Nasional component parties, whether MCA, MIC, Gerakan or the component BN parties in Sabah and Sarawak to ask UMNO to stay loyal to the commitments of the founding fathers of UMNO and the nation and to adhere to their consensus, which predates the formation of Malaysia in 1963 as it went back to the nation’s Merdeka in 1957 that hudud laws are not suitable as they are at variance with the Constitution and the nation’s founding principles.

But it will be a point of no return not only for Barisan Nasional, it will also be a point of no return for Pakatan Rakyat, as there is no way Pakatan Rakyat can survive in its present form after one of its component parties could act so unilaterally and arbitrarily as to show utter contempt for the other PR parties, the PR common policy framework as well as PR’s operational consensus principle.

It is a fallacy to contend that Pakatan Rakyat had reached an agreement that PAS and DAP had “agree to disagree” on the hudud issue, permitting PAS to unilaterally pursue the hudud issue in Parliament.

There was never such an agreement.

In fact, the September 28, 2011 joint Pakatan Rakyat statement, which saved Pakatan Rakyat from its first crisis, again over the hudud issue, make it very clear that as the hudud enactment in Kelantan and Terengganu pre-dated the formation of Pakatan Rakyat and the DAP and PAS agreed to disagree on hudud, hudud is not part of the PR joint common policy framework until all parties agreed to it.

The meaning and implication is very clear – that PAS will not unilaterally push for the implementation of hudud without the agreement of all PR parties.

Now we are informed that PR Leadership Council will not even be notified of the details of the Kelantan State Assembly special sitting on December 29 to implement hudud – raising the question of the weight and value of PR in the eyes of the PAS leadership.

The following charts on the thirteen general elections held in the country since 1959 show that the 1999, 2008 and 2013 general elections were high water-marks for the the Opposition parties in Peninsular Malaysia as they achieved their best performances in these three general elections – when there was the Barisan Alternative in 1999, the pre-Pakatan Rakyat co-operation in 2008 and Pakatan Rakyat in 2013.

Parliament - Total
Year PAS DAP PKR S46 Total
1959 13 13
1964 9 9
1969 12 13 25
1974 PAS in BN 9 9
1978 5 15 20
1982 5 9 14
1986 1 24 25
1990 7 20 8 35
1995 7 9 6 22
1999 27 10 5 42
2004 6 12 1 19
2008 23 28 31 82
2013 21 38 30 89
State - Peninsular Malaysia
Year PAS DAP PKR S46 Total
1959 42 42
1964 25 25
1969 40 31 71
1974 PAS in BN 23 23
1978 11 25 36
1982 18 12 30
1986 15 37 52
1990 35 46 17 98
1995 33 11 12 56
1999 98 11 4 113
2004 35 15 0 50
2008 83 72 40 195
2013 85 91 42 218

PAS and PKR achieved their best electoral performances in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 GEs while the DAP in the 2008 and 2013 GEs.

I had said that if hudud had been a hot controversial issue in the 13th GE in May 2013, Barisan Nasional would not only have regained its two-thirds parliamentary majority to redelineate electoral constituencies at will, Pakatan Rakyat might have lost Selangor apart from Kedah, and Johore would have reverted as an invincible Barisan Nasional “fixed-deposit” state.

Instead of winning a total of 89 parliamentary seats (40% of total of 222 parliamentary seats), comprising 21 PAS, 30 PKR and 38 DAP, the results could have been slashed to 46 seats (21% of parliamentary seats) comprising 16 PAS, 7 PKR and 23 DAP.

PR’s total of 229 State Assembly seats in Peninsular Malaysia (45% of 444 seats) in the 13GE comprising 85 from PAS, 45 from PKR and 95 from DAP could have been slashed to 134 State Assembly seats (30% of total) comprising 62 from PAS, 15 from PKR and 57 from DAP.

PR would have suffered devastating setbacks in the State Assembly elections, losing Selangor and Kedah, while all PAS gain in Johore (4 State Assemblymen) and Malacca (1) could have been completely wiped out.

It is sad and even heart-rending if such a political scenario should come to pass, especially for Malaysians who had hoped that change for the better is at last very close, but Malaysians must be prepared to face the unavoidable.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah