Who can be the new Prime Minister of a new coalition government in Malaysia to defend the Malaysian Constitution?
DAP fully endorses the stand of G25 of prominent Malay former civil servants urging Putrajaya to uphold the Federal Constitution and that the implementation of hudud law means the abandonment of the path of moderation chosen by the country since Independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
The G25 statement said:
"The imposition of PAS' hudud laws will signify to the world that Malaysia has abandoned the moderate path.
"We will be seen as a country governed by religious laws which are subjected to the vagaries of interpretation of the ulama who are also fallible human beings."
I am not a Muslim but I am fortified by the G25 group’s citation of Islamic scholars for this position, especially Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who is chairperson of the World Union of Muslim Scholars, who said the application of Syariah must be governed by Ijtihad or creative thought, to determine how it would be enforced today as it would not be helpful to take rulings from ancient texts and apply them in totality to modern societies.
The G25 group said the problem which Sheikh Qaradawi noted is that hudud is being enforced before the conditions for its application are met and these includes:-
- Establish true Islam where society is pious and God-fearing;
- Ensure the economic needs of the people are met;
- Provide employment opportunities for all; and
- Reduce the income gap and ensure there is no poverty.
In light of the above elucidation by Sheikh Qaradawi, they further posed whether any state in Malaysia can claim to have satisfied the preconditions in order to allow for the implementation of hudud?
PAS Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah had earlier refuted this position, claiming that implementing hudud only when a particular state is free from poverty would be impossible.
Responding to criticisms that Kelantan should only implement hudud when the poverty problem had been resolved, Nik Amar asked: “Can you tell me where in the world which has such a state?
“It’s like utopia; utopia is something which cannot be achieved, it’s impossible.”
Before the 13th General Election in May 2013, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang went round the country and said hudud could only be implemented if there were adequate conditions, giving as examples that if there was no minimum wage provision or resolution of the poverty and unemployment problem, the conditions for implementation for hudud did not exist.
Was Hadi guilty of pursuing utopia or was he not being honest and truthful in his promises to the voters?
DAP also fully agree with the G25 Group statement that hudud implementation would violate the 20 Point Agreement and 18 Point Agreement which the Federal Government had negotiated with Sabah and Sarawak respectively before the formation of Malaysia.
For Sabah the first point states “while there is no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia, there should be no state religion in Sabah, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present constitution of Malaya should not apply to Sabah”.
Similarly, Sarawak’s 18 Point Agreement stressed that “everyone shall be entitled to worship as he pleases”.
The Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution would be seriously violated if PAS’ hudud law is implemented.
In fact, if Najib announces that UMNO/BN supports the private member’s bill moved by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, Najib would have lost all credentials and credibility with regard to his international initiative of a Global Movement of Moderates – a subject he had advocated at various international forums including the United Nations General Assembly in the past few years.
This is why the flirtation of UMNO “UG” conspirators with PAS with the lure of hudud implementation in Kelantan has become a double-edged sword, capable of destroying both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional.
So long as Najib’s “labour pains” preventing him from declaring clearly and definitively the stand of the previous five Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah that hudud law is against the Malaysian Constitution and not suitable for a multi-racial, multi-religious nation like Malaysia, the time has come to explore who could be the new Prime Minister of a new coalition government to “Save Malaysia“ to defend the Malaysian Constitution.