DAP and PAS have not changed their respective stands on hudud, but it is UMNO, MCA and Gerakan which have changed their stand!

Nobody would have thought that MCA go could lower than what it suffered in the 13th General Elections last May, when MCA surrendered three parliamentary seats to UMNO, namely Gelang Patah, Kuantan and Wangsa Maju and received the worst clobbering in Malaysian electoral history when it was reduced to a mosquito “7-11” party.

But everyone was wrong, for MCA has plumbed to a lower depth, when it announced that it was not contesting the Bukit Glugor parliamentary by-election, with the MCA Secretary-General Ong Ka Chuan insulting the intelligence of Malaysians by giving the most nonsensical of reasons: viz:

“MCA will not participate in the poll as the party wants to fully focus on the hudud issue to protect the federal constitution.

“If we contest, some issues might crop up and divert us from our focus, which is to stop the PAS Private Member’s Bill from being tabled in Parliament on June 9.”

“We hope the public will understand why we took the decision, but even though we are not contesting, we will continue to serve the public,” he said.

The press has reported that the PAS Central Committee at its meeting in Kuala Lumour this morning decided that it will not present a private member’s bill on the implementation of hudud in Parliament in June, referring the matter to the technical committee formed jointly by the Federal Govenment and the Kelantan State governments.

Now that PAS will not be tabling a private member’s bill on hudud implementation in the June meeting of Parliament, will MCA contest in Bukit Gelugor as the very reason for not participating in the by-election has been completely demolished by the PAS Central Committee today.

Of course, this was not the real reason why MCA is not contesting the Bukit Gelugor by-election – which is MCA fear of an even more ignominous defeat in Bukit Gelugor than during the 13GE last May.

If the MCA is to contest in Bukit Gelugor, it faces not the possibility and risk but the certainty of the expose, not only in Penang but throughout Malaysia, of its perfidy and hypocrisy in launching a national sham campaign purportedly to defend the Malaysian Constitution when in fact it had betrayed not only the fundamental constitutional principles but also the sacrifices and memory of the MCA founders like Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin on the hudud issue.

This is because DAP and PAS have not changed our respective stands on hudud, but it is UMNO, MCA and Gerakan which have changed their stand on hudud while putting up a great sham and pretence to hide their policy change on hudud.

Firstly, who can forget that when the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad made the unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional announcement on Sept. 29, 2001 (“929 Declaration”) that Malaysia is an Islamic State, the first to rush forward to endorse such infringement of the secular Malaysian Constitution were the then MCA and Gerakan Presidents?

The only political voice to reject and repudiate the unconstitutional “929” declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic State was from the DAP.

Secondly, what is little noticed in the recent hudud controversy is the tectonic shift of Barisan Nasional and MCA/Gerakan policy on hudud.

On April 24, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak publicly announced that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud – which was a clear violation of the Merdeka Constitution of 1957 and Malaysian Constitution 1963 and the stand not only of the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein, but also the struggles of the founders of MCA and MIC like Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tun V.T. Sambanthan.

What Najib announced on Aprl 24 was not Barisan Nasional and formerly Alliance policy for the past 57 years.

As Barisan Nasional operates on a principle of consensus, the disagreement of one of the 13 component parties in BN would suffice to block such a policy change.

In fact, such a policy change would not have got the approval of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council as eleven if not twelve of the 13 BN component parties would have rejected such a policy change – even if UMNO is solidly in support of such a policy change.

Why then have the MCA President Liow Tiong Lai and Deputy President Wee Ka Siong given their tacit support for such a major policy change by Barisan Nasional?

Can the Liow/Wee MCA leadership explain why they dare not requisition an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to defend the secular basis of the Malaysian constitution – when there are more than enough votes to reject Najib’s unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional announcement of the Barisan Nasional Federal Governemtn on hudud?

Is the reason for the MCA perfidy and hypocrisy on the question of hudud all because of the greed of Liow and Wee for Ministerial appointments when MCA is finally taken back into the Cabinet and Government – with Najib dangling the carrot of three MCA Ministers and five MCA deputy ministers?

If MCA is defending the secular basis of the Malaysian Constitution for real, and not just launching a national sham campaign to mislead and deceive voters, then the first thing Liow and Wee must do is to make it crystal clear to Najib that MCA leaders would reject Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial offers unless Najib retracts the unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional announcement that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government never rejected hudud.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah