From Ravinder Singh via email
Some may find it reassuring to hear MCA President Liow Tiong Lai stating that his party would oppose PAS President Hadi Awang’s “unconstitutional bill”, but others may question his sincerity in view of a news report a day earlier that quoted him as saying that “the party will not vote for it, unless a similar bill is moved by the government”.
According to that earlier report, he said he was confident that if the government took up Hadi’s private member’s bill, it would be amended in ways that would make it conform with the Federal Constitution.
This is not something to be playing political games with. If the first report got him wrong, he should say so clearly.
Opponents of hudud expect him to state unequivocally that MCA will oppose the bill, or RUU 355, even if it is adopted by the government and tabled as a government bill.
If he believes the bill can be amended to be in line with the constitution, he should explain how.
As long as he doesn’t state unequivocally that the MCA opposes hudud, whether it be Hadi’s or the government’s version of it, his assurance must be taken with suspicion. He might just be playing with words, having come to some “understanding or compromise in the Barisan’s spirit of consensus” not to rock Barisan’s GE 14 strategy.
Behind BN’s facade of invincibility, there is probably a fear that power is slipping from its hands. One sign of this is the unleashing of the Red Shirts and Umno Youth to harass, threaten, intimidate and even manhandle people and destroy their property, such as Zunar’s cartoons.
And religion has been brought to the forefront of the fight for survival. Even the leader of the Red Shirts has issued a fatwa that makes devils of Muslim MPs who oppose Hadi’s bill.
At a time when there is so much unease over hudud, politicians who are genuinely in disagreement with it should not play word games but state their stand clearly. So could Liow Tiong Lai please state whether he is or is not opposed to hudud?
Ravinder Singh is an FMT reader
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