Kit Siang tells Mat Sabu to shut up
The Third Force
First, we’ll take off with what took place two days ago.
Last Tuesday, Lim Kit Siang plunged himself deeper into the gutter seeing that Barisan Nasional (BN) was likely to sweep Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by landslides. The senior Lim made a last ditch attempt to shift the spotlight onto Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang by saying that the PAS President had once aspired to be Malaysia’s next Prime Minister (PM).
On the same day, several mainstream dailies and online news portals floated editorials quoting the senior Lim as saying that Hadi was the cause of Pakatan Rakyat’s downfall. According to reports, Kit Siang had accused Hadi of taking PAS out of the Pakatan Rakyat equation upon discovering that the coalition’s remaining partners, DAP and PKR, had refused to endorse him (Hadi) in place of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim as their choice candidate for the post of PM in waiting.
Reading between the lines, what Kit Siang was saying amounted to this – “Hadi is a selfish human being who thinks only of himself. Because of him, Pakatan Rakyat collapsed, and we now have to suffer a backlash from the Malay voters.”
Yes. That is exactly what Kit Siang wants the electorate to think.
The senior Lim wants the Chinese in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar to believe that Hadi is rubbing shoulders with Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak to exact revenge on DAP and PKR for not endorsing him as the next PM of Malaysia. He is telling the Chinese that because of this, the Malays are going to punish the community and make them suffer by casting a vote against secularity during the by-elections. But what Kit Siang forgot to mention was how he himself had sold the Chinese down the river mid last year.
The whole episode predates to the 4th of June in 2015. Back then, Mat Sabu failed to defend his incumbency as PAS deputy president against Pahang PAS commissioner, Dato’ Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, by a very large margin. It was the Islamist party’s 61st annual Muktamar (congress) – the pro-ulama faction took over key positions in the party and practically squeezed the moderates out from the party’s administrative circle for good.
Dejected, Mat Sabu went running to Kit Siang, who looked upon the former’s poor showing in PAS as an opportunity to even the score with Hadi. Yes, there was an old score that Kit Siang needed to settle with Hadi – the senior Lim was still sore with the PAS president for refusing to pitch Datin Seri Wan Azizah’s name as Pakatan Rakyat’s sole nominee for the post of Selangor Menteri Besar (MB) during the days of Langkah Kajang. He was not over it, and all he had on his mind was revenge.
But the frustration and anger he harboured against Hadi was self inflicted. The thing is, Hadi’s decision to submit more than one name to the Palace was pursuant to a directive by the Palace and not in any way arbitrary. Still, his decision opened the door for Azmin Ali to be sworn in as Selangor’s fifteenth MB, and that made Kit Siang’s blood boil. So badly, that some say you could hear the sizzle of the cold sweat that dripped off his balding scalp from a mile away.
Anyway, I’ve elaborated on this and much more in an article that was carried by Malaysia Today quite recently, which you can read all about here – http://www.malaysia-today.net/the-chinese-just-saw-what-the-malays-had-been-trying-to-tell-them-all-along/. Suffice to say, Mat Sabu blamed Hadi for turning PAS into a conservative battleground against the moderates, while Kit Siang blamed Hadi for turning Azmin into Selangor MB. And when two adversaries meet halfway on a mission to destroy a common enemy, they will see eye to eye on stuff they would otherwise rip each other’s throats out over.
So you see, that is exactly how and why Kit Siang and Mat Sabu came to be such good friends almost overnight. The duo needed to bring Hadi and his ulama faction down by hook or by crook. Their game plan was simple – declare Hadi to be an overly conservative leader who was subordinate to Najib, and fabricate rumours that UMNO and PAS were discussing merger within the framework of a secret agreement to implement Hudud law in Malaysia.
By getting the message across the table, Kit Siang had hoped to stir animosity among Muslim moderates against Hadi. But more than that, he needed to keep in check every measure of support the Chinese had for PAS, however significant or insignificant it was, by having the community believe that PAS was bent on sabotaging the secularity of the nation.
But there was still that teething problem. The senior Lim realised that it was impossible to get a sizable number of Muslim moderates from PAS to support DAP or PKR – he knew that he needed a moderate Islamist platform that he could control to eat into the ulama’s voter base. Without an alternative platform, Kit Siang worried that Muslim moderates who were traditional PAS voters would have no choice but to stick with the ulama faction even if they did not see eye to eye with them.
What happened thereafter is political history. Mat Sabu and a group of 17 disgruntled PAS leaders established a new platform which they referred to as Gerakan Harapan Baru (GBH). Of course, the new movement was being funded and controlled by DAP from behind a thin veil. Nonetheless, GHB quickly morphed into a new political outfit, or Parti Amanah Negara (PAN), which Mat Sabu misleadingly labelled as a progressive and moderate Islamist front.
Yes, misleadingly, because PAN is anything but progressive or moderate. From day one, Kit Siang was well aware that Mat Sabu had a very special love affair with the Islamic penal code (Hudud law), such that he yearned for the day he would wake up to news that the Syariah Courts had been granted jurisdiction beyond the confines of family related matters and a select few Islamic observances.
Now, isn’t that like carrying fire in one hand and carrying water in the other? I mean, how could PAN portray itself as a progressive front when the better half of its members isn’t aware of Mat Sabu’s position on Hudud? Factional politicking is bound to seep in the minute its 750 odd party members discover that Mat Sabu misled them – now wouldn’t that steer the party towards the path of digression?
In the first place, how could PAN claim to be a moderate Islamist party when it seems more the carbon copy of PAS than it is anything else? What is so moderate about PAN – is it the fact that its members comprise largely of non-ulamas? To non-Muslims out there, do you honestly believe that being an ulama equals being conservative? Is that what Mat Sabu taught you?
Both Kit Siang and Mat Sabu have been lying to the Chinese all this while. They told the community that PAN was a progressive and moderate Islamist front that was very different from PAS. And to keep the Chinese tuned and the flame of hatred against PAS burning, the duo is said to have conspired mid last year to remain tight lipped about Mat Sabu’s love affair with Hudud and his dream of seeing the Syariah Courts being granted more leverage to deal with crimes it currently isn’t permitted to.
Now that we have that settled, let us move on to the part about how and why Pakatan Rakyat had disintegrated into the many warring and dissonant factions we see today.
Once Kit Siang and Mat Sabu had agreed to keep their mouths shut about the latter’s love affair with Hudud, the senior Lim proceeded to cut all ties with Hadi and PAS. Operation PAS destruct was launched, and it didn’t bother Kit Siang one bit that Mat Sabu would turn the tables against him – he knew that the PAN President had everything to lose if he did, what with PAN being funded wholesale by DAP and all.
So you see, the whole thing about Hadi destroying Pakatan Rakyat out of frustration that the coalition had refused to endorse him as PM in waiting was cock and bull. As a matter of fact, Pakatan Rakyat disintegrated because both Mat Sabu and Kit Siang had agreed to destroy Hadi and bludgeon the ulama faction with works of fiction, beginning with the one about Hadi insisting that Malaysia be turned into an Islamic state.
But then, there is still that lingering question – why did Kit Siang find it necessary to suddenly come out with a tale of how Hadi had wanted to be the PM of Malaysia? Why not earlier – say, two or three weeks ago?
Think about it – last Tuesday, Kit Siang impressed upon the Chinese that Hadi’s Bill was a deliberate attempt by the PAS president to teach the Chinese a lesson. By this reasoning, the Chinese must now cast their ballots in favour of PAN candidates, because unlike PAS, PAN is a progressive Islamist party that favours a pluralist venture towards nation building, hinged on a platform that is all inclusive and secular.
That was Tuesday. But for three weeks or so prior to that, Kit Siang was drumming into the minds of the Chinese that the Proposed Bill of amendments would pave the way for PAS and UMNO to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state and to infuse the Islamic penal code into Malaysian law in a manner that infringes on Chinese articles of faith.
Do you see the shift in strategy? First, it was all about Hudud, but last Tuesday, it was about revenge. Still not convinced?
A day before Kit Siang had come out to lie about Hadi wanting to be the Prime Minister, the grand old man of politics, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, took the piss out of Najib and his wife, charging them with impropriety for having done this and having done that. To Mahathir, both the PM and his wife had sailed too close to the wind and were the reason why he opted to stay out of UMNO.
But for two weeks prior to that, Mahathir was frantically trying to funnel doubt in the minds of the Malaysian Chinese by implying that Najib was in cahoots with PAS to legislate the full scope of the Islamic penal code, also in a manner that would infringe on Chinese articles of faith.
Do you see it now?
Today, there is no longer talk of secularity. But just a few days back, the duo were beating the Hudud drum, insinuating that PAS and UMNO were discriminate in their mission to implement Hudud law in Malaysia. Do you already smell the fish curry simmering?
I mean, the by-elections are two days ahead. Anyone noticed that Mat Sabu is missing in action?
He is, because Kit Siang literally told the PAN President to shut up. Last Saturday, Mat Sabu was caught with his pants down when Malaysia Today floated a video depicting the PAN President as reading the riot act to an unidentified group of persons out of frustration that there were still those who voted for UMNO. In the 1.54 minute clip, Mat Sabu is seen venting anger against UMNO for playing cat and mouse with Hadi’s Bill of amendments, stopping short only of labelling the Malay based party as being the enemy of Islam.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, everyone knows about Mat Sabu’s love affair with Hudud. The Chinese realise that the DAP-PAS split had nothing to do with the Islamic penal code or the fact that PAS remained persistent with its Islamic state agenda. Because of that, Kit Siang hurriedly painted new strokes on the whole Pakatan Rakyat debacle to make it seem that the coalition had split because Hadi was disappointed that he had not been endorsed by PKR and DAP as PM in waiting.
By the way, how is the DAP supremo uno going to explain to the Chinese the fact that his party is funding PAN despite the Islamist party being a staunch proponent of Hudud? How will Kit Siang justify the fact that Mat Sabu is in favour of Hadi’s Bill of amendments while DAP isn’t?
The biggest question that begs to be answered is this – what the hell is DAP doing partnering with Mat Sabu and PAN in Pakatan Harapan?