Hudud paves the way for PAS-Umno allianceMarch 20, 2015
In the event the opposition Muslim MP’s from the other parties within the PR votes against Hadi’s private motion, the PAS will have yet another political tool to use to promote its pull-out (legitimate in PAS’ views) from the PR.
The Hudud bill in Kelantan, voted by the local assembly, and trumpeted by the Party Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) as a victory for its ‘Islamic’ agenda, could turn out to be a mighty political tool.
It is also a sign of the sleek leadership qualities of PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang, who is still facing a rebellion within the party, with the PASma looking ahead for his downfall in an upcoming leadership battle.
In a sudden twist, former Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Perak and a member of the PAS, said the leaders of the party needed replacing since they showed their weakness in leading the party.
PASma is currently holding public talks, during which the members are criticising the leadership of the party. They are also trying to garner support against an eventual PAS-UMNO deal that could pave the way for a new coalition government in Malaysia.
It is not a secret that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has initiated the next step in his move to legislate the Kelantan Hudud act, risking an affront if the bill is rejected.
However, it is a very well calculated political move.
A rejection of the bill in the August Parliament in Kuala Lumpur will indicate to the PAS that it is a long way from success in its struggle to bring Islamic laws to be implemented in Kelantan, and in the country.
Such a rejection will show that the Muslim MP’s from the ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition in power would have rejected the PAS. In the event the opposition Muslim MP’s from the other parties within the PR votes against Hadi’s private motion, the PAS will have yet another political tool to use to promote its pull-out (legitimate in PAS’ views) from the PR.
Hadi – along with the Ulama council and other pro-Hudud PAS leaders – will be able to claim victimisation at the hands of the Party Keadilaan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the two parties that have voiced their opposition to the Kelantan’s Hudud move.
A successful vote will, on the contrary, indicate a possible PAS-UMNO deal with the certain break-up of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition.
The PAS does not seem to be worried about the PR’s future, as it is adamant it will survive the shaky opposition coalition.
Hadi’s hudud move is, in actual fact, a step by the PAS to cleanse itself from the ‘PR’ which is a coalition where the party does not sit well and is looked upon by pro-UMNO supporters as a ‘betrayer’ of the Muslims.
A PAS-DAP alliance has always been heavily criticised by government controlled media outlets, calling it a union from hell since the PAS has joined hands with an ‘anti-Malay, anti-Muslim’ liberal party.
Since 2008, the PAS has been living in guilt, for rejecting UMNO’s wooing to build a new ‘Muslim unity’ coalition to lead the country in the wake of the Chinese community’s push to vote against the BN.
Otherwise, the party also felt the guilt of its promises to the PR, promises that it will not push for the Hudud until the country is ready for the much critised Islamic laws.
Nevertheless, the PAS has made its move and the PR is on the brink of a break-up which can only be blamed on the opposition coalition itself for its lack of vision and lack of tact in dealing with the PAS’ and Hadi’s political gambit.
It is difficult to see the PAS, DAP and PKR sitting at the same table if the Hudud bill in the Parliament is successful with the UMNO MP’s voting in favor.
An UMNO support for Hadi’s bill in the Parliament will pave the way for a political alliance between the two formations, with the passing of the bereaved spiritual leader of the PAS Nik Aziz Nik Mat serving as the platform for such a union.
This union will also bring a new political scenario in the country, with former Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as the next magic wand in the growing arsenal of the UMNO-BN.
Khalid is expected to announce the formation of his political party soon, a party that will ally itself with the PAS in a wider UMNO-PAS-Khalid coalition.
Besides, the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, along with the slew of cases against several PKR leaders is also an indication of how shaky the PR has turned to be after its wild electoral successes in 2008 and 2013.
The death of Karpal Singh, the fierce anti-Hudud opposition and DAP leader, has also paved the way for the PAS to launch its Hudud campaign.
With all three top PR leaders out of the way (Anwar being in jail), there is no reason to beleive that a rejection of the Hudud bill in Parliament will hamper PAS from leaving the PR to join the UMNO.
The only stumbling block that remains in the finalisation of this coalition could be Tun Mahathir Mohammad, who is leading a campaign to oust Najib Razak as the leader of the UMNO.
If Mahathir is successful, which does not seem to be the case at the moment indeed, the PAS will then have wasted an opportunity to wait for the next General Elections to unseat Najib.
But that, the PAS knew since 2013, would not be possible as it had already engineered its plans to join the BN well before the 2008 elections.