Why is DAP becoming an apologist for PAS?


Ti Lian Ker, The Malaysian Times

AT a forum entitled ‘Emerging Perspective on Hudud in Malaysia’, organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) yesterday, DAP political strategist Liew Chin Tung had called for a stop to any further debates on the implementation of PAS hudud law.

I fail to fathom why Liew is afraid to discuss this very urgent issue which can permanently alter the secular nature of our country’s Federal Constitution, more so at a time when Malaysians are calling for more discourse and consultation.

During the seminar, Liew had claimed that UMMO will change but on the other hand, PAS is saying that DAP will change (Ubah, eh?). Perhaps Liew owes this reasoning to his refusal to concede openly that it is DAP which will ubah to accommodate PAS as PAS gains political strength in numbers. The first evidence of DAP shifting this way towards PAS stems from Liew’s own caution yesterday not to discuss the hudud issue. This goes to show that the political reality is sinking in whereby DAP has now reduced itself to being apologists for PAS and trying to camouflage PAS’ true intention of compelling a Talibanese political dogma.

The issue here is to question why DAP is so afraid to have a discourse on PAS hudud law despite PAS adamantly insisting that hudud is a part of its dogma of which it has never abandoned although DAP had vouched otherwise for its hardliner partner prior to both the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

Is DAP saying that PAS is so immature so as to be able to be enticed by a single statement from an UMNO Minister in Parliament? Or is it that DAP has become a PAS apologist like any parent coming to apologise for a child’s mischief?

PAS’ political expediency to delay tabling the Private Member’s Bill

Instead of asking for a halt to the whole hudud debate, DAP should stop PAS from its plan to resume tabling a Private Member’s Bill in the Dewan Rakyat this coming September. As a matter of political strategy and expediency, and after weighing the pros and cons granted that these two constituencies have a higher percentage of non-Muslims voting, PAS expressed postponing the tabling of the hudud Bill to September as the timing coincided with the Bukit Gelugor and the current Teluk Intan by-elections.

As DAP’s political strategist, Liew should call for more discourses instead of sweeping this PAS hudud issue under the carpet as PAS hudud law will greatly impact our legal system, create a big divide in our plural society and also incur a great injustice towards womenfolk and minor children in particular.

By urging for a stop on debates surrounding the hudud issue, DAP shows its insincerity in verbally wanting political accountability and transparency.

The rakyat who chose Pakatan on the ballot slips did not vote for hudud despite both DAP and PKR giving the false impression or holding out to the people that PAS had long abandoned its goal of setting up an Islamic state or implementing PAS hudud in favour of establishing a welfare state.

It is not true that Barisan Nasional is enticing PAS to be in conflict with DAP as alleged by Liew, but the other way around is accurate ie DAP had stoked racial fire and latent racial and religious issues that have been cautiously managed by BN by pitting MCA (in particular) against UMNO based on isolated or individual statements.

The rakyat must know the truth and be given a choice to choose “aye” or “nay” to hudud. DAP must come clean on this issue and not play along with PAS this game of hide and seek which is politically dishonest and conniving.

*(Datuk Ti Lian Ker is the MCA Central Committee Member and party Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman. The views expressed here are his personal views.)