Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 20.12.2014.
PAS’ arguments for wanting to implement hudud laws on Muslims in Kelantan despite being not part of the PR Common Policy or 2013 General Election Manifesto is centered on 3 key points. One, that this is PAS democratic right and PR component parties can agree to disagree. Two, the hudud laws were proposed in Kelantan before PR was established and hence not relevant to PR. Finally it is only implemented on Muslims and does not affect non-Muslims.
Such arguments are both self-contradictory and fallacious. Whilst PAS can pursue its hudud agenda within the democratic context, it must do so within the framework of PR as a coalition partner that trusts its partners and keep its promises. Worse, this violates the PR consensus painstakingly achieved since 2008 as set out in the Common Policy and 2013 General Election Manifesto that did not mention hudud laws at all. Further such actions can even be considered dishonourable as a result of PAS’ willingness to work with its mortal enemy UMNO and against the wishes of both PKR and DAP.
If the Kelantan hudud laws were passed in the nineties and hence not relevant to PR which was set up in 2008, why then did PAS not press for the implementation of hudud immediately after the 2008 general elections, when PAS had gained 2 new Menteri Besars in Perak and Kedah? PAS did not do so immediately after the 2008 general elections because it was focused on good governance.
By pursuing this after the 2013 general elections now, there is strong suspicion that PAS has abandoned good governance because it has no confidence in winning voters’ support and standing on its record of competency, accountability and transparency. Further PAS is too trusting to rely on the mere promise of UMNO that will support hudud laws, when UMNO has shown itself as a party that repeatedly breaks its promises. Witness the failure of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to fulfil the thrice-repeated promise to repeal the Sedition Act or to increase BR1M from RM650 to RM1,200 made in the 2013 general election manifesto.
Can UMNO be relied upon to keep its promises? PAS has allowed itself to be naively trapped by UMNO’s political ploys. Instead of challenging UMNO to make the first move to implement hudud laws on Muslims in Kelantan in Parliament because UMNO is the Federal government, PAS is taking the initiative. Both PAS and UMNO knows that non-Muslim support for PAS has now fallen to 2004 general election levels of less than 5%. Whether UMNO supports or not PAS’ hudud laws in Parliament, there is no way back for PAS amongst non-Muslim voters if PAS takes the initiative to implement hudud laws in Parliament.
The high 80% non-Muslim voters who voted during the 2013 general election in favour for PAS against UMNO, will feel betrayed by a PAS that they voted to fight corruption and replace BN, not to implement hudud laws. UMNO has nothing to lose but everything to gain in getting back the non-Muslim votes they lost to PAS in the 2013 general elections. It is unlikely that hudud is an election winner for PAS amongst Malay voters, because if hudud laws are that crucial, PAS would have won every general elections over the last 50 years and not have to wait 50 years until 2008 general elections to win in Kedah and Perak by combining with both PKR and DAP.
Non-Muslim voters will not be deceived by the contention of PAS that implementing hudud laws in Kelantan does not affect them as it is only imposed on Muslims. Every non-Muslim knows that the Federal Constitution will have unalterably changed and Malaysia changed fundamentally from the present civil administration, when hudud laws are implemented under a “one country, two criminal systems’. Non-Muslims knows that this is only the first step towards eventually leading to a full implementation of hudud laws on all, including non-Muslims in the future.
PAS should not abandon good governance in favour of naively believing that UMNO will help to implement hudud laws on Muslims in Kelantan, when this will irretrievably alter the fundamental nature of our Federal Constitution and set back PR’s efforts to save Malaysia from corruption and BN.
LIM GUAN ENG
—– Mandarin version —