Will Liow, Wee, Ong, Mah and Subramaniam succeed at the Cabinet meeting on Friday to get Zahid to withdraw his statement that the government will adopt and move Hadi’s private member’s bill in Parliament and clarify it is UMNO but not BN stand?
Last Friday, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi announced that the government will take over PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill in Parliament to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355, but the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other Sabah/Sarawak Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders claim that they knew nothing about it and never agreed to it.
At this stage, we need not go into the merits or demerits of such a bill, although there are attempts by irresponsible, divisive and destructive quarters to brand those who criticize or even oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill as anti-Islam, forgetting that the Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg (a Muslim himself) had upheld the stand of the previous Sarawak Chief Minister, Adenan Satem (another Muslim) and directed all the 25 Sarawak Barisan Nasional MPs (which included four Muslim Federal Ministers) to reject Hadi’s private member’s bill motion .
Before we discuss the merits or demerits of Hadi’s private member’s bill, the first question to be dealt with is whether Barisan Nasional has changed its character from a coalition based on consensus, where everyone of the 13 Barisan Nasional component parties must give consent and agreement before a policy, measure or decision can be regarded as Barisan Nasional policy, measure or decision into one where the Barisan Nasional is only a coalition in name but accepts UMNO hegemony, where what UMNO leaders want and desire become the law in Barisan Nasional!
This will be the case if the Zahid can announce that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government will take over Hadi’s private member’s bill in Parliament even without have to discuss and get the agreement of the Ministers and leaders of the other 12 BN component parties outside UMNO.
UMNO’s takeover of Hadi’s private member’s bill in the name of Barisan Nasional, without consent or even discussion with the leaders and Ministers of the other 12 BN component parties, is a critical test case of the character of the BN – whether it has totally changed character from that of Alliance under Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun V. T. Sambantah or even in the early period when Barisan Nasional was formed under Tun Razak, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun Sambanthan and Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu where consensus and not UMNO hegemony is the basis of the coalition.
If what Zahid announced last Friday binds only UMNO, but not the other 12 Barisan Nasional non-UMNO parties unless they individually and collectively gave their agreement to UMNO taking over Hadi’s private member’s bill, then Friday’s Cabinet meeting is the occasion to make this situation clear.
Will the three MCA Ministers, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Wee Ka Siong, Ong Kah Chaun, the Gerakan Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and the MIC Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam succeed at the Cabinet meeting on Friday to get Zahid to withdraw his statement that the government will adopt and move Hadi’s private member’s bill in Parliament and clarify that it is UMNO but not BN stand?
Malaysians are waiting for the outcome of Friday’s Cabinet meeting!