No reason to pat BN for declining to table Hadi’s bill

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Najib and Hadi at a rally for the Rohingya inside the Titiwangsa indoor stadium: Najib will unashamedly use Pas to corner the voters in the rural hinterlands - Photograph: themalaymailonline.com

Let’s not forget the mess and upheaval caused by the government’s decision to even allow the listing of the private member’s bill in the parliamentary order paper, says Wishful Accountant.

I am puzzled and bewildered by the congratulatory pat-in-the-back letters (such as this one) applauding the government’s move not to back Pas president Hadi Awang’s RUU355 and instead leave it as a private member’s bill.

If a person starts a fire, which is then burning his house down, and then puts it out, there is nothing to congratulate the person on. We need to ask why the fire was lit in the first place and hold the person responsible.

If a person beats another person grievously and then pays for the medical bill, surely we can’t parade that person around as a hero for paying the medical bill?

If a person destroys someone else’s reputation by telling lies using all available means and then says sorry, should we then give them an award for being a stand-out citizen?

So what is the difference in this instance?

The government’s move to back out from its many soundbytes and assurances that it would put RUU355 to the vote should be met with the same incredulity and scepticism. The entire ploy should be heavily criticised and should not be held up an example of moderation but shown up as politicking of the worst kind.

What was the purpose of the government even toying with the idea in the first place as it caused a lot of uneasiness in the country for months and months?

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Barisan components parties were severely embarrassed time and time again as their public stand that the BN always seeks consensus was contradicted by many Umno ministers. Many condescending statements were issued by many Umno ministers and party leaders to the other BN parties, especially the MCA, the MIC and Gerakan.

Let’s be clear: the BN component parties’ feeling and wishes were never important then or now. If they were important, this idea of government support for the bill would have been nipped in the bud – and not nipped only now after the MCA and the MIC had been humiliated and constantly undermined.

First, the government said it had not yet decided and later an Umno minister gave support for the bill and said the government had decided this and that. Where was the BN consensus then?

Those who did not support the proposed bill were labelled ‘anti Islam’ even if they were Muslim themselves. Of course, Lim Kit Siang was made out to be the ‘devil’ himself although he was not the main opponent of RUU355.

Non-BN parties were castigated for being racists and anti-Islam. What about the BN, now that it has decided not to table the bill in Parliament as a government bill? Should the BN parties now be labelled in the same way that non-BN parties were labelled before?

Many statements were issued daily by some ‘newbies’ hoping to make their mark and get chosen in the next election again (see here and here).

I suspect that one of the following reasons was the real reason behind this U-turn and not the BN consensus spirit that suddenly is being bandied about:

  • It was never Umno’s plan to support RUU355; it was a mere ploy to divert attention from other pressing issues in the country such as the state of the economy, education and corruption
  • Perhaps they were just testing the ground to see if this was a good strategy to win the next election. But they they could have realised they were digging their own graves when they saw how the East Malaysia was reacting and even some segments of the Malay community seemed less than enthusiastic towards the bill.
  • It was a masterstroke to ensure Pas and Pakatan Harapan would be at each other’s throats; now it is apparently too late for either of them to back down.
  • This was the prime minister’s plan to show he is a believer of BN consensus after allowing all other Umno personalities to publicly and loudly back RUU355, only for them to be left with egg on their face. Perhaps this was part of an internal Umno power play all along.
  • The government did not have a plan at all, and nature took its course by going into overdrive. This was just a collection of clueless ministers who believe in their invincibility and just said and did whatever they liked.
  • Perhaps those in government may have realised the proposed harsh sentences could be used on them when they are no longer in government or when they fall out of favour.
READ MORE:  Democracy without racists and bigots, please

Whatever the real reason, let’s not forget the mess, hurt, uneasiness and upheaval caused by the government’s decision to even allow the listing of the private member’s bill in the parliamentary order paper.

This is gutter politics, the same type of politics that calls for the constant harassment of opposition or dissenting politicians using unjust laws passed by docile parliamentarians who forget that their first duty is to the electorate.

This gutter politics humiliated their friends in the MIC and the MCA, who may never recover their credibility from the see-saw over this this private member’s bill. Pas was ‘arrogant’ as it thought it had superior strength and readily and constantly dissed Pakatan Harapan.

For Pas to be credible and prove its worth and competency, it doesn’t need Hadi’s bill or Umno or Pakatan Harapan. They just have to administer Kelantan as a model state – in governance, competency, justice, and fairness – putting the interests of the rakyat first.

Instead, Pas wasted its chance by focusing on more superficial personal ‘sins’ (see here and here).

Dr Mahathir once said said, “Melayu mudah lupa.” What he should have said – since it is quite true – is “Malaysians mudah lupa” especially if their pockets are lined

Wishful Accountant, who practises his trade, is a keen customer services and rights champion who spends his own time and resources chasing banks, utility providers, highway concessionaires and local councils on various public interest issues. Occasionally, he feels compelled to comment on political and social issues.

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