Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Mahathir's buzz on Islamic state
Since PAS President. Dato Haji Hadi Awang announced PAS is ditching the Islamic state and championing the new cause of welfare state for political expediency at their 2011 Annual Muktamar, they have been in a constant state of flux from within and without.
In the light of growing pressure from the grassroot and conservatives in and outside (specifically refering to Dato Dr Hasan Ali) PAS, there is a new twist to the polemics of Islamic state and hudud.
Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad offered PAS to join UMNO in order to implement hudud. That is the old master in his elements springing a surprise with his great sense of timing and reading of the ground.
Damn if I do and damn if I don't. How will PAS response?
The move for welfare state by seemed to change PAS from being steadfast in their ideological crying call of Islamic state to show more willingness for muzakarah (consensus building) with others.
It also means PAS emulated UMNO's practise to do muzakarah with their fellow BN component political parties, in which every political party has one voice, big or small and decisions are made on consensus. Many thought it is the beginning of a two party system in Malaysia.
However, PAS could not hold itself whenever UMNO poke at them for fosesaking their Islamic agenda and compromise to the liberal professional faction.
Everytime they are under pressure, PAS's Murshidul Am, Dato Nik Aziz Nik Mat (notice no Tuan Guru) reiterate their stance for Islamic state and hudud and it follows with a war of word with DAP leaders, particularly Lim Kit Siang and the more vociferous voice of Karpal Singh.
This have been going on for many rounds.
However, there are occasions where DAP started the war whenever they reiterate their stand on Malaysia being a secular state.
Over time, the younger DAP leaders like Lim Guan Eng have shown willingness to refrain from teh polemics. They know it is not politically feasible. Till the old guards fade away, the repetitive polemics will keep going on.
MCA realise this and MCA President, Dato Dr Chua Soi Lek have been harping on DAP for compromising on their Islamic state stance.
Many months back, in the midst of an MCA an attack on DAP, one of our informer tipped off a PAS plan to hold a special Muktamar on Islamic state and hudud.
The tactical psychological game was to issue a position that could put UMNO in a fix by capitalising on their partner, MCA's stance against Islamic state and hudud while DAP shows sign of willingness to compromise.
In the midst of growing Islamic consciousness and acceptance for Islamic state and hudud from within the Muslim population, it would have been a blow to UMNO whose bounded by consensual decision within BN.
Supposedly, the idea came from recent PAS convert, Tamrin Tun Ghaffar.
Although not in any post of power but still influential, Dr Mahathir's view could indicate a willingness on the part of UMNO to secede to the undercurrent within the Islamic populace.
Kedah UMNO Chairman, Dato Bashar's chorused Dr Mahathir and was reported in yesterday's Sinar Harian to claim UMNO have never really opposed Islamic state and hudud but wants a true Islamic hudud and not PAS's version of hudud.
The interesting part is MCA President, Dato Dr Chua Soi Lek is keeping quiet. He is staying away and allowing the UMNO-PAS political polemics some breathing space. Dr Mahathir's statement have clearly stated that before hudud law can be implimented, UMNO would discuss it within their coalition.
PAS is also in a fix since they usually claim that Pakatan Rakyat practise consensus too albeit without any partner imposing on others.
Yesterday, Chairman of MCA Kedah gave another interesting twist to support hudud if it is beneficial to society. It only adds further woe to PAS.
Bear in mind that MCA Kedah understand the political terrain of the Malay heartland of conservative Muslim.
They know that DAP's younger guard have expressed willingness to let the Malay heartlands of Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu do as they please as long as they are given free hand in Penang and other states they expect to acquire.
Naturally the oppositions blogs and social media are replaying Dr Mahathir's past view against Islamic state and hudud, and other remarks they have branded as anti Islamic in the past.
There are noises of critics from Dasto Mahfuz Omar, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Anwar Ibrahim's stooge as in ABIM President, and Malay DAP and perennial Dr Mahathir critic, Aspan Alias describing Dr Mahathir's remark as insincere.
Just as they can call Bashar's remark as irrelevent, their responses are of no relevence to Dr Mahathir. Even PAS President, Haji Hadi is not Dr Mahathir's equal. The other voices are mere chipmunk punks belting out their version of old favourite tunes.
His remark is meant for Anwar Ibrahim and Nik Aziz. He knows Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh is closely watching.
Although he is not known for his theological view, Dr Mahathir is not strange in the development of Islam.
Towards the end of his premiership, the Perkim Chairman was more accomodative of Islamic state. It was him that took the Islamic state to another level by announcing Malaysia is an Islamic country.
In fact, during the time interfaith issues like article 11(4) and Lina Joy conversion case was widely debated at the time of Tun Abdullah administration, Dr Mahathir was often been criticised for institutionalising Islam in his effort to develop the "Islamic infrastructure".
Dr Mahathir became a target of superliberal "Muslims" like Harris Ibrahm, Malek Imtiaz, Sisters in Islam, etc.
DAP can scream and argue that Reed Commission proceeding during the drafting of our constitution insist Malaysia must have a secular constitution.
However, the constitution, which was derived from the original constitution of 1948 as drafted by the rulers, had many specified phrases of funding for Islamic activities which runs contrary to a secular state constitution.
Now back to Dr Mahathir's masterly incisive remark. If PAS were to say NO to Dr Mahathir's suggestion which has Kedah MCA Chairman support, they would be seen as not true to their words and struggle for Islamic state and hudud.
Simply because DAP and PKR has clearly said NO to Islamic state and hudud. This means PAS can never achieve that goal under Pakatan Rakyat. Especially so when PAS will only be running for a bit more than 40 seats.
Off course, everyone in the know of politics knows that PAS is never serious about Islamic state and hudud.
All one need to be reminded is when Hadi was Menteri Besar of Terengganu and he had Tun Salleh Abbas, the same Supreme Court Judge that once made a precedent ruling that imply Malaysia is a secular state, to look into the matter.
Since Malay voters "mudah lupa", it helps UMNO to downplay the perceived Islamic facade of PAS that has a natural appeal to the rising spirituality of the growing maturity voters.
However, if PAS were to say YES, which is most unlikely to happen, unless Nik Aziz drops dead yesterday and a coup d'etat brought down the 70% Erdogan and Erdogan-inclined lallang in PAS overnight, it should be the end of the story for PKR and Pakatan Rakyat.
And Malaysian politics will be back to its old boring predictable outcomes.
Other than the Unity Government supporter, which is largely from the ulamak faction, significant number of PAS and UMNO grassroot members and fence seating Malay voters are attracted to the idea of ending the animosity between UMNO and PAS, if not a unity.
Dr Mahathir's has returned a fast forehand to Nik Aziz's court. How will he answer back? Counter forehand or defensive lob?
At the moment, Nik Aziz could only dare to attack former PAS Deputy President, Dr Nasharuddin Mat Isa for becoming the last minute interpretor for Dato Nik Najib in Mecca during their recent Ramadhan umrah visit. However the Dewan Ulamak see no big deal in his meeting in Mekah.
AS of now, only Nasha dare to stand up to Karpal Singh's roar to call him anti-Islam. He is willing to face Karpal Singh in court.
Being call such puts DAP, whose trying hard to woe Malay votes, on the defense. Karpal also became defensive.
At the same time, PAS is being attacked by recent PAS reject but now getting publicly popular for his fight against evangelical proselytising of Muslim, Dato Dr Hasan Ali. He was the lone voice that lambast the Christian organisation to give vote to political party that will allow proselytising of Muslims.
Nasha too has reiterate his Unity Government stance to call on PAS to review their position in Pakatan Rakyat. He may not have wide popularity but he is expressing the view of the masses. Will he regain his political support before being sacked?
Whether the former MARA Chairman - infamous for forcing MARA Holding to bulk purchase membership at a premium RM60,000 price to current RM16,000 in his development of Kelab Rahman Putra - will go ahead with such Muktamar plan is not known.
Talks of PAS holding a PAS-DAP diologue on Islamic state will get Karpal Singh agitated.
Nothing personal but Karpal is just adamant that Malaysia is a secular state and like any DAP members, refuse to accept the Malay Muslim heritage of this country.
The root of the problem also lies with our past legally trained Prime Ministers specifically Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn who may have not done thorough reading of the constitution and made similar claim.
Anyway these polemics will not end soon and more will unfold as both sides try to win more Muslim votes.
There is also the serious discussants of Islamic agenda. In the Sinar Harian today here, Kedah Mufti slam Karpal Singh to give support for Nasharuddin.
The rest of PAS remains quiet, neither giving out welfare handouts or debating the Islamic state agenda.
* Updated 7:30 PM
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