A Sabahan or Sarawakian can also be Prime Minister of Malaysia in post-BN, post-PR new coalition before 14 GE, and possible candidates include Anifah Musa, Rosnah Rashid Shirlin, Abdul Ghapur Salleh from Sabah and Fadhlah Yusuf, Nancy Shukri and Rohaini Abdul Karim from Sarawak
There are two political coalitions in the country, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which won 53% of the national vote in the 13th general elections in May 2013 but denied the opportunity to form the Federal Government in Putrajaya; and the Barisan Nasional (BN), the first minority Federal Government in Malaysia but won 60% of the parliamentary seats by gerrymandering and undemocratic redelineation of electoral constituencies.
Both political coalitions suffered grave and unprecedented damage this month because of the latest political game played by UMNO conspirators exactly one year ago, when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom told Parliament on March 27 last year that the Federal Government was ready to work with PAS Kelantan State Government to implement hudud in Kelantan.
This has resulted in the Kelantan State Assembly re-enacting the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 1993 with amendments on March 19 (with the support of UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen) and the March 18 private member’s bill by the PAS President and MP for Marang Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on hudud implementation.
This has caused enormous damage to Pakatan Rakyat as Hadi’s private member’s bill was a multiple violation of both the spirit and letter of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition – violating the PR Common Policy Framework which committed all PR parties to defend the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution as well as the consensus principle as the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council at its meeting of Feb. 8 decided unanimously that proposed amendments to the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code and any private member’s bill in Parliament should first to brought to the PR Leadership Council for discussion.
Neither of the two PAS commitments, made in the presence of the PAS President, was honoured. In fact, up to now, after a passage of 11 days, DAP and PKR MPs have not even been shown a copy of Hadi’s proposed private member’s bill!
However, while succeeding in causing enormous damage to Pakatan Rakyat in its latest effort to destabilise, divide and destroy the PR, Prime Minister and UMNO/BN President Datuk Seri Najib Razak has found that this ploy is a double-edged sword, as it is also inflicting enormous damage to Barisan Nasional – testified by Najib’s record length of tenth-day “labour pains” in the issue of a statement on UMNO/BN stand on Hadi’s private member’s bill.
The country was promised that Najib would issue such a statement last Friday, 20th March 2015, but ten days have passed and the Prime Minister is still suffering “labour pains” to produce such a statement.
Could the Barisan Nasional salvage its integrity, credibility and legitimcy when the Prime Minister could not even come out with a statement on UMNO/BN stand on Hadi’s private member’s bill when the first five Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah would have no hesitation in reiterating and reaffirming the core nation-building principle of BN and previously Alliance that hudud laws are against the Malaysian Constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and not suitable for a multi-racial and multi-religious nation like Malaysia?
In continuing to “duck” the issue, to avoid taking a clear stand to oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill in the name of UMNO and BN, Najib is destroying UMNO/BN’s commitment both to the Federal Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Najib may be confident that finally the Peninsular-based BN component parties like MCA, Gerakan and MIC would be obedient to UMNO’s wishes and dictates, but he cannot be so sure about the position of the Sarawak and Sabah BN component parties, as well as the support of the people of Sarawak and Sabah, as Sarawak and Sabah’s total of 49 Parliamentary seats made Najib the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.k Najib would be the Parliamentary Opposition Leader if the support of Sarawak and Sabah BN’s 49 parliamentary seats are withdrawn.
Can the enormous damage done to both the Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional be undone?
Strangely enough, the solution to both PR and BN’s unprecedented damage are the same – whether PR and BN component parties are prepared to recommit themselves to the Federal Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
In the case of BN, whether Najib is prepared to immediately reaffirm a clear and unequivocal stand of BN and Alliance in the past 58 years that hudud laws are against the Federal Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and unsuitable for a multi-racial and multi-religious nation like Malaysia.
In the case of PR, whether all PR component parties are prepared to reiterate commitment to the PR Common Policy Framework and the consensus principle that no single party or party leader can veto or overrule the unanimous decision of the PR Leadership Council, which Hadi had tried to do more than once.
There have recently been attempts to justify the PAS Kelantan State Government re-enacting the 1993 Syariah Criminal Code and Hadi’s private member’s bill by arguing that the PR Leadership Council Joint Statement of 28th September 2011 had “agreed to disagree” on the hudud issue.
This is distorting the meaning of “agree to disagree” in the Joint Statement – which was an acknowledgement that the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment 1993 and the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment 2003 were passed before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat, but took the clear position that while it was unreasonable to require PAS to abandon the agenda, the three PR component parties would give priority to the PR Common Policy Framework and that all policies involving PR and their implementation must have the agreement of all three parties.
The “agree to disagree” clause referred to DAP’s differences with PAS on the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactmet and the 2003 Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment, which took place before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat in 2008, and cannot be used as justification for violation of PR Common Policy Framework and the consensus operational principle of PR, as otherwise, there would be no meaning or purpose in setting PR to topple UMNO/BN.
It is in the context of both political coalitions, BN and PR, being irretrievably damaged because their original fundamental principles had been destroyed, that I had asked Malaysians to think the unthinkable – for MPs from both sides of the BN and PR political divide as well as both sides of the South China Sea to take a stand to “Save Malaysia” to defend constitutionalism by coming together in a new coalition before 14 General Elections.
If such a new coalition gets the support of the majority of the 222 Members of Parliament, then there will be a new Prime Minister, and clearly it will not be Najib.
The new PM can be from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak or Sabah, can be a man or a woman, but he or she must be one who is committed to defend the bedrock constitutional principles like the first five Prime Ministers of Malaysia.
A Sabahan or Sarawakian can also be Prime Minister of Malaysia in post-BN, post-PR new coalition before 14 GE, and possible candidates include Anifah Musa (Foreign Minister), Rosnah Rashid Shirlin (Deputy Works Minister), Abdul Ghapur Salleh (MP Kalabakan) from Sabah and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusuf (Works Minister), Datuk Nancy Shukri (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) and Rohaini Abdul Karim (Minister for Women, Family and Community Development) from Sarawak.
Such a Prime Ministerial possibility must currently be a Member of Parliament as we are talking about the present batch of MPs. If a new general election is to be held, then it is a different ball game altogether.
I have not mentioned Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal or Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, two current Cabinet Ministers from Sabah, as they seem to either support Hadi’s private member’s bill or Najib’s foot-dragging on the issue in not coming out with a clear reiteration and reaffirmation of a 58-year-old Barisan Nasional/Alliance stand.
Yesterday, I had said that a new post-BN, post-PR political scenario in Sabah could mean a new Chief Minister for Sabah – with Joseph Pairin Kitingan or Salleh Keruak back as CM or Hajiji Noor (Minister for Local Government and Housing) or Masidi Manjum (Minister for Tourism, Culture and Environment) as new CM.
Immediately, I was queried why I did not name PKR Sabah leader Datuk Lajim Ukin. It is not because I think Lajim is not qualified to be Sabah Chief Minister, but going by the present configuration in the Sabah State Assembly, it is clearly unlikely that it would be possible to get support for a nominee from PR. If if we go by the results of the 14th GE, then it is a different proposition altogether.