Selangor UMNO motion on hudud is the third time MCA/UMNO played with fire over hudud issue in the last three months

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has finally said today that the MCA would oppose any motion or bill on hudud, even if initiated by UMNO.

Liow said this after MCA/UMNO were caught playing with fire over the hudud issue third time in three months after the UMNO Selangor Sg Air Tawar Assemblyman stirred up a hornet's nest and had to withdraw his motion on the implementation of hudud for the Selangor State Assembly next week.

The first two incidents when MCA/UMNO played with fire over the hudud issue were:

  • The Parliament speech by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Jamil Khir Baharom on March 27 that the federal government was ready to work with the PAS Kelantan state government to implement the hudud law in Kelantan.
  • The speech by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Alor Setar on April 24 that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud.

The MCA leadership had gone along with Najib and Jamil unilateral and arbitrary announcements totally against Barisan Nasional's stand and the fundamental constitutional principle of Malaysia as a secular state solely to play politics, thinking they could trap the DAP and PR over the hudud issue.

This is most irresponsible as it was a most cynical and opportunistic violation of basic constitutional principle as well as long-standing Barisan Nasional stand, utterly regardless of the harm such betrayal of political principles can do to the people and the country.

It also violated the fundamental Barisan Nasional principle that any change of BN policy must be the result of the consensus of all component parties in the BN and not the unilateral and arbitrary decision by any one party even if it is the hegemon UMNO.

It was Jamil's speech in parliament on March 27 and Najib's statement on April 24 which reopened the hudud controversy in the last three months.

The UMNO Selangor motion on the hudud implementation for the Selangor Assembly next week was to be the third occasion by MCA and UMNO to politicise the hudud issue further, but the open minded, democratic and courageous decision by the Selangor Speaker, Hannah Yeoh, to accept the motion and allow a debate has completely scuppered the MCA/UMNO plans.

It is not good enough now for Liow to declare that MCA would oppose any motion or bill on hudud even if initiated by UMNO.

He must undo the two previous episodes of MCA/UMNO playing with fire with the hudud issue by:

  1. asking Jamil Khir to retract his statement that the Federal Government was ready to work with the Kelantan State Government to implement hudud law in Kelantan, as this had never been Barisan Nasional government stand, and
  2. asking Najib to retract his April 24 statement that the BN Federal Government had never rejected hudud , as this was never BN Federal government's stand.

As Liow has so far only undone one of the three political mistakes on the hudud issue, he should make it clear to Najib that MCA will not accept any ministership to return to the Cabinet until and unless the other two rectifications are made.

It is time for all political parties and political leaders in the country to stop politicising the hudud issue and playing with fire so that all Malaysians can focus on the real issues affecting the future of the country that is economic competitiveness, educational excellences and national unity and harmony.

In contrast, the DAP has always been constant and consistent on our stand that hudud implementation is against the constitutional principle that Malaysia is a secular democratic state and unsuitable for a plural society like Malaysia, and that the DAP is opposed to any implementation of hudud whether it is proposed by PAS or UMNO.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah