DAP Sabah to PAS : look at the bigger picture

By Dr. Edwin Bosi, Member of the Sabah State Assembly for Kepayan

The hudud controversy is not new. DAP Sabah Secretary said the controversy however did not derail the coalition of DAP, PAS and PKR from getting 53% of the popular votes in the 13th general election of May 5, 2013. The Pakatan Rakyat also won 89 MP seats and for the second consecutive term denied UMNO BN a two-third majority in Parliament.

The people (voters) have decided despite the opposing stance of PAS wanting the hudud while DAP is opposing it. Proposing a private member’s bill on the hudud in Parliament may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In doing so, Pakatan Rakyat’s hope to capture Putrajaya and make Malaysia a progressive and prosperous nation is more difficult to realise and achieve. We must therefore not take the voters for granted.

It was a political nightmare for UMNO BN when in the 12th general election of March 2008 and the 13th general election, Malays were voting DAP while the Chinese have no issue voting PAS. It is undeniable that many PAS seats were won with the overwhelming support of the Chinese community.

Recounting when the PAS government of Terengganu enacted the hudud, it had still lost badly to UMNO in the general election of 2004. The PAS government of Kedah lost to UMNO BN in general election of 2013.

Instead of proposing a private member’s bill on hudud in Parliament, PAS leaders especially in Kelantan should do a post-mortem on why they lost the government in Terengganu and Kedah. The enactment of hudud in Terengganu for example did not save PAS. Based on the experience of Terengganu, the PAS government of Kelantan cannot expect to see that the private member’s bill on hudud in Parliament will help them in any way to retain political power.

DAP’s stance on hudud is crystal clear. It is unconstitutional and is not appropriate for a plural and diverse racial and religious society in Malaysia. It is against the founding spirit of Malaya as enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaya 1957 and also the founding spirit of Malaysia as enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia 1963.

When Malaysia was formed it is accepted that the official religion of the Federation is Islam as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Sabah came into the Malaysian picture as an independent and sovereign nation without any official religion. Despite this unique position, the people of Sabah have accepted that Islam is the official religion of Malaysia while given a guarantee that other religion can be practiced freely.

The PAS proposal on the hudud in Parliament is tantamount to an act of disregarding the spirit and sacrifice of Sabah in the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia. As far as the non-Muslims natives in Sabah are concerned, the proposal by PAS is going to further widen the gap between the various religious and racial communities.

The “Allah” controversy and the call to burn the Bible by an extremist group and the seizure of the bahasa-version of the Bible by the Selangor religious authority have already shattered the concept of 1Malaysia. When PAS leaders broke rank from UMNO on the use of “Allah” the predominantly non-Muslim indigenous people in Sabah saw hope in Pakatan Rakyat. PAS must not shatter this hope.

I would like to advise PAS leaders to give a thought on Sabah when proposing Islamic-related bills in Parliament. PAS or any government for that matter must study and appreciate the position of Sabah before making a decision on issue such as the hudud which will certainly not go down well with the non-Muslims in particular, the indigenous non-Muslim community.

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