Considering the Hudud factor in Teluk Intan loss

by Gobind Singh Deo

Gobind-bMuch has been said about the reasons leading to Pakatan Rakyat’s loss in the recent Teluk Intan by-election. 

Early analysis suggest we lost some 25% of the non-malay vote. This is a very significant shift which calls for concern. No doubt, many pin the cause down to the low voter turn out but there are certainly other factors which need to be considered.

I am of the view that the controversy around the implementation of hudud by PAS contributed significantly to our loss in Teluk Intan.

Whilst PAS worked tirelessly with us in DAP throughout the campaign, for which we are thankful, they stood firm even during the period of campaign, that they would eventually push ahead with hudud.

There was even a statement that the hudud bill would be tabled in Parliament in September notwithstanding the DAP’s clear objection to it and the fact that it stood against the Pakatan Rakyat common agenda inked in 2011.

To my mind, this struck deep in the minds of many voters as many do not support hudud and feel that Malaysia must remain a secular nation with full effect given to the Federal Constitution as it stands.

This could have resulted in a silent protest vote against Pakatan Rakyat.

Many also openly expressed their concerns over the push ahead by PAS for hudud despite the fact that it was not part of the PR common agenda, saying that they felt misled into supporting PAS thinking that they were no longer calling for the setting up of an Islamic state in the last two elections.

Because of this, many expressed reservations over support for Pakatan Rakyat as that would also be support for PAS and their agenda to implement hudud.

Whilst I must make it clear that I am of the view that the DAP made the right decision to field Dyana Sofya in Teluk Intan and that our team worked tirelessly and did an excellent job throughout the campaign in Teluk Intan, I feel the right political strategies in terms of candidate and future vision alone cannot in itself erase the need for clarity in terms of position on current issues of public concern such as hudud.

Ultimately, it boils down to our ability to move the people and to inspire and motivate them. The negative impact issues like hudud will have, if not already, needs to be felt and understood through this loss.

We must get back to basics. We must be brave and deal with these problems now. If we fail to do this, the consequences arising from our inability to do so can and most certainly will, to my mind, be somewhat disastrous. -The Rocket

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