PPBM’s battle for supremacy
PPBM is at a loss as to what to do. DAP does not want it in Pakatan Harapan. So PPBM has no choice but to announce it is reconsidering the plan to join Pakatan Harapan and might, instead, form a second opposition coalition with PAS and PKR. Furthermore, if PPBM joins Pakatan Harapan then it would have two enemies to face: Umno and PAS.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Supremacy: the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.
If any politician were to tell you that he or she is in politics to serve the rakyat, walk away from him or her because that person is a liar. Politics is not about serving the rakyat. Politics is about power, plain and simple. It is a battle for supremacy. Supremacy, in Malay, is called ketuanan. Hence Ketuanan Melayu is Malay Supremacy. And PAS fights to make Islam supreme and above all else — the Monarchy, the Constitution, the Judiciary, Parliament, the rakyat, etc.
To Islamists, the Qur’an is the Constitution, God’s or Allah’s Constitution. This was what Prophet Muhammad propagated and which was continued by the four ‘Rightly Guided’ Caliphs that followed. Anything else has to be below and not above the Qur’an. Hence PAS’s desire to strengthen Syariah laws in Malaysia (which have been around long before the British came).
Just to digress a bit, the British took possession of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis (as protectorates) from the Siamese in 1909. Although the British adviser indirectly ruled these states, they never interfered in the legal system. Basically, the Islamic Syariah laws prevailed and it came under the state religious authorities, which came under the Sultan/Raja.
In short, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis had Syariah laws before the British took over these states in 1909 and before these states joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and were given Merdeka in 1957 or became part of Malaysia in 1963.
So, what is Abdul Hadi Awang trying to do with his RUU355 or Syariah Amendment Bill? He is just trying to give more power and authority to the Syariah courts and not allow them to be subservient to the common law courts. If not then the Syariah does not become supreme and Islam will lose its supremacy.
That is the word again: supremacy. The Qur’an and Islam are supreme as far as Muslims are concerned. Hence Islamic laws such as the Syariah must also be supreme. To tell Muslims otherwise or to tell them they are wrong is just like telling Christians that Jesus is NOT the Son of God and he never died on the cross or came back to life three days later.
So this is a matter of faith and doctrine. If you want to challenge Muslims on this you might as well challenge the existence of God. Are the Muslims right or wrong about the supremacy of Islam, the Qur’an, the Syariah, etc? Are the Muslims right or wrong about the existence of God because no one can prove that God exists. Muslims accept the existence of God as a matter of faith as they do regarding Islam, the Qur’an, and the Syariah.
Back in the early days, about 40 years ago, I asked Mustafa Ali what PAS was trying to achieve. If PAS merely wants to uphold and implement Islam then why become a political party? Political parties are about the pursuit of power. Why not become a dakwah or missionary movement instead?
Mustafa replied that PAS first needs power to serve Islam. Once PAS has power then Islam can be better served. This was what Prophet Muhammad did to be able to propagate and defend Islam. The Prophet first got into power and only then could Islam flourish.
I suppose that makes sense. Donald Trump has ideas but all his ideas mean nothing if he does not have power to implement his ideas. He needs to first become the 45th President of the United States and then he can change the country, introduce reforms, implement his ideas, and so on. In short, he needs to become the supreme leader of America. He needs supremacy (the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.).
Now, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new party, PPBM (not to be called BERSATU: see letter below) is reconsidering its partnership with Pakatan Harapan (READ HERE). And the reason for that is simple. Pakatan Harapan is currently a DAP-led opposition coalition. Mahathir wants Pakatan Harapan to become a PPBM-led coalition.
In other words, PPBM must be the supreme member of the opposition alliance. If it is a mere follower and not the leader, then PPBM is not really going to go places.
Let us use Kelantan as an example to discuss this matter. And we use Kelantan as the example because that state represents one of the Malay heartland states which the two predominantly Malay/Muslim parties, Umno and PAS, have been fighting over since November 1951 (yes, since exactly 65 years ago).
Look at the statistics below. From 1959 to 1978, PAS ruled Kelantan. From 1978 to 1990, Umno took over. From 1990 till now PAS ruled Kelantan. However, from 1990 to 1996 it was in partnership with Semangat 46 and from 1999 to 2013 it was in partnership with PKR. Since 2013 PAS has been ruling Kelantan alone with Umno as the opposition.
Now, can you imagine what would happen if Umno and PAS enter into an electoral pact and instead of going head-to-head they come out with a seat sharing formula? PAS does not even need to join Barisan Nasional. All it needs to do is to agree with Umno which seats they contest and which seats Umno contests. Then Umno and PAS engage in one-on-one contests or straight fights against the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan.
And this is what Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin fear the most, which is why they are now reconsidering their options. PAS can actually take Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis if they did not have to take on Umno but just takes on Pakatan Harapan. The stumbling block for PAS is Umno. And if PAS and Umno engage in a three- or four-corner contest with Pakatan Harapan and others, then both Umno and PAS lose out.
We must remember the words of the late Nik Aziz Nik Mat. Nik Aziz said that PAS does not have any personal grudge or animosity against Umno. PAS opposes Umno only because Umno opposes Islam. If Umno can accept Islam then there is no need for PAS to exist. PAS can even close down and everyone can join Umno.
Yes, that was what Nik Aziz said. Umno is not the enemy of PAS. Those who oppose Islam are the enemy of PAS. If Umno accepts Islam there is no reason for PAS to fight Umno or even for PAS to continue to exist. That means if DAP opposes Islam then DAP is the enemy of PAS. And if PKR, PAN and PPBM work with DAP, the enemy of Islam, then PKR, PAN and PPBM are also enemies of PAS.
And that is why PPBM must reconsider its plan to join Pakatan Harapan. Instead, PPBM must consider forming a separate or second coalition with PKR and PAS, which does not include DAP and PAN, the sworn enemies of PAS.
This has happened before back in 1990. Even back then PAS and DAP could not work together. So Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah formed two separate coalitions — one between PAS and Semangat 46 called Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah and another between DAP and Semangat 46 called Gagasan Rakyat.
This is what Mahathir-Muhyiddin may have to consider for the next general election. DAP, PKR and PAN would be in Pakatan Harapan while PPBM, PAS and PKR would be in Pakatan Harapan 2.0. Pakatan Harapan and Pakatan Harapan 2.0 would share out the seats and would avoid going against each other and will engage in straight fights with Barisan Nasional. If PPBM cannot be the head honcho of the entire opposition it can at least be the head honcho of the ‘Malay wing’ of the opposition.
Yes, the name of the game is supremacy. And to be supreme you must be the leader of the pack. And leadership of the pack depends on how many seats you win or own. PPBM cannot become the leader of the pack if it is not given the most number of seats to contest. But why would Pakatan Harapan want to give PPBM seats other than the ones it already owns and the ones it can win?
The other problem is that DAP does not really want PPBM in Pakatan Harapan. So better PPBM declares it is reconsidering the plan to join Pakatan Harapan before someone says DAP does not want it in Pakatan Harapan. If DAP agrees to accept PPBM in Pakatan Harapan the Chinese are going to get very angry and may punish DAP like they once did back in 1999.
So DAP does not want PPBM in Pakatan Harapan. And now PPBM has to say it wants to form Pakatan Harapan 2.0 with PAS and PKR. But for PAS to agree to this, PPBM must first state its stand on RUU355 and the Syariah. And once PPBM does that its doors would be closed to non-Muslim voters and PPBM will have to compete in the Malay heartland.
But why would PAS want to give up any of its seats to PPBM? If PPBM wants seats it would have to take them from Umno. And that would mean PPBM would be totally wiped and would not win any seats (or win just one seat like PKR did in 2004).
The worst day of Mahathir’s and Muhyiddin’s life was when the RoS approved the registration of PPBM. They thought the government would block its registration or would drag it on for years. But PPBM was registered super-fast and Mahathir and Muhyiddin were not ready yet. So now they have a party which they do not know what to do with.
Now I ask you again: are Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s Boffin Boys smart or not? They made sure that PPBM got registered super-fast and then sat back to enjoy the show. This is just like the case of a dog chasing a car. Once the dog catches the car it would not know what to do with it. And Mahathir and Muhyiddin do not know what to do with PPBM.
Kelantan Parliament seats when PAS ruled the state
1959: PAS 9, Umno 1
1964: PAS 8, Umno 2
1969: PAS 6, Umno 4
1974: PAS 7, Umno 5
Kelantan Parliament seats when Umno ruled the state
1978: PAS 10, Umno 2
1982: Umno 8, PAS 4
1986: Umno 11, PAS 1
Kelantan Parliament seats when PAS/S46 ruled the state
1990: S46 7, PAS 6
1995: PAS 6, S46 6, Umno 2
Kelantan Parliament seats when Barisan Alternatif ruled the state
1999: PAS 10, PKN 3, Umno 1
Kelantan Parliament seats when PAS ruled the state (after Barisan Alternatif was dissolved)
2004: Umno 8, PAS 6
Kelantan Parliament seats when Pakatan Rakyat ruled the state
2008: PAS 9, PKR 3, Umno 2
2013: PAS 9, Umno 5