The 13 other BN component parties should not walk into the trap prepared by some UMNO leaders and propose instead that the March Parliament set up an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on Malaysian Constitution, MA63 and Rukunegara
The Sabah Council of Churches spoke for Malaysians and not just Sabahans when during Christmas, it prayed for truth to prevail in Malaysia, especially among those in power.
In his Christmas Day message, Council president Rev Jerry Dusing said, among others, truth must be established on the issues concerning 1MDB and the “hudud bill”.
He asked: “What is the truth of 1MDB? As Malaysians are left in the dark, we find ourselves frustratingly waiting for foreign nations to expose the truth about this mystery.”
He said lack of truth on the matter compromises the willingness of the public and businesses to respond to public policies and contribute to economic recovery.
I am very disappointed that the Cabinet, at its last meeting of the year yesterday, had not heard Dusing’s Christmas Message and started the new year 2017 with a new commitment to tell Malaysians about the truth, whether it be on 1MDB or PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).
There are six Ministers from Sabah in the Najib Cabinet, three of whom are Christians, one of whom is responsible for national unity as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
It is the height of disappointment that none of the Sabah Ministers had raised Dusing’s Christmas Message at the last Cabinet of the year for the Cabinet and Government to start telling the truth to Malaysians.
One outstanding issue which has been put off to the Parliament meeting next March is Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.
The truth about Hadi’s private member’s bill motion has not been told, but the year 2016 ended with UMNO leaders admitting that they have set out a trap for the other 13 Barisan Nasional component parties on the issue at the next meeting of Parliament in March next year.
We must thank two UMNO leaders, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Kamil Khir Baharom and the Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Ahmad Mazlan for letting the cat out of the bag in their speeches to the UMNO Overseas Club Alumni annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 18th December 2016.
Jamil admitted that Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) enabled the government to circumvent the due constitutional process, as requiring consensus from all states, the National Islamic Council and the Rulers’ Conference.
Jamil explained: “You can’t bring it to the Rulers Conference if you don’t have consensus from 14 states, but a private member’s bill requires only one state or one person to table it.”
Jamil said that when Hadi’s private member’s bill motion moves to the second reading stage, it would be taken over by the government and read out by him.
Ahmad Maslan, on the other hand, said BN component parties will not be able to object against amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) once the relevant bill is taken over by the Federal Government as BN component parties are compelled to support the bill as part of the ruling coalition.
What Jamil and Ahmad Maslan have planned out is clearly a double-pincer strategy of subterfuge involving two circumventions – first, circumventing the constitutional process to secure the consensus from the 14 states and the support of the National Islamic Council and the Rulers’ Conference; and secondly, circumventing the Barisan Nasional consensus of all the 14 BN component parties for any policy or measure to be adopted in the name of Barisan Nasional Government.
In fact, Ahmad Mazlan went one step further and publicly admitted that the ulterior objective of UMNO’s support for Hadi’s private member’s bill motion was to cement UMNO’s “unity” with PAS!
Former Law Minister, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said that Jamil is wrong and that whether the bill is moved by Hadi or Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the requirements are the same – that the consensus of the states as well as the consent of the Malay Rulers are necessary prerequisites before such a bill can be passed by Parliament into law, as Islamic laws are under the purview of the states and the Malay Rulers.
But what Malaysians, whether in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular Malaysia, want to know is whether the other 13 Barisan Nasional component parties, and their leaders and Ministers, are so naive and gullible that they can can so easily walk into the “trap” laid out by some UMNO leaders, including Jamil and Ahmad Maslan, on Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.
The perfidy of some UMNO leaders who have no qualms in reneging and destroying the much-vaunted principle of Barisan Nasional consensus which proved that Barisan Nasional is a coalition of equals and not a coalition of UMNO hegemony must be a grave cause for concern and even consternation – not only Barisan Nasional leaders and members, but ordinary Malaysian citizens as well.
I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that the Barisan Nasional is facing its worst crisis since its formation in 1973 – as the Barisan Nasional “consensus” principle is being smashed into smithereens by surreptitious UMNO support for Hadi’s private member’s bill motion, despite overwhelming opposition by the majority of the other BN component parties.
I call on the 13 other BN component parties, their leaders and Ministers, not to walk into the trap prepared by some UMNO leaders. They should propose instead that the March Parliament should set up an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee to make proposals on how to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on the Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Rukunegara.
Hadi’s private member’s bill motion can remain on the Parliamentary Order Paper if Hadi again re-submits it, but there should be no vote on it, as it should be referred to the all-party parliamentary select committee to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on the Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Rukunegara.
Will the six Sabah Ministers and all the 25 Barisan Nasional MPs from Sabah support this proposition in the March meeting of Parliament for the establishment of an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on Malaysian Constitution, MA63 and Rukunegara?