Monday, May 14, 2012

Crouching tiger, hidden leopard - Dilemma in GE-13

The political choice in GE-13 for many non UMNO & non PAS voters has become a dilemma, a very serious one, though some (but not all) are prepared to go for broke and take a chance.

Unusually, it’s not UMNO or any of its media mouthpieces which has thrown the apple (or thorny durian) of discord into the political arena. It was Harun Taib, PAS’ Ulama Cheif, who did so when he declared that our legal system will have Hudud if PAS wins more seats than allies.

While that declaration by itself, that of embracing hudud, is not new, and a known aspiration of PAS, what has been far more worrying was Harun Taib’s assertion that PAS will implement hudud regardless, as evident in his reported words “… if not with the current partners we have in Pakatan… may be there will be other pacts that will lend us their support …”.

If that doesn’t smack of arrogant go-it-alone-after-winning treachery, what is it then? What kind of coalition partner is PAS?

PAS has previously admitted that in more than 60 federal constituencies, the non-Muslim votes could be the crucial factor in securing wins over its principal political opponent UMNO. It currently relies upon its Pakatan allies to help it gain non-Muslim support, especially Chinese votes, to ensure an edge over UMNO in those seats. PAS has already enjoyed considerable samplings of this Pakatan cooperative approach, both during GE-12 and in some subsequent by-elections. 

PAS' election benefits have been sterling examples of cooperative support of multi-party alliance where, for example, DAP would convince non-Muslims to vote PAS in preference to UMNO while PAS in reciprocation would campaign for DAP in Muslim areas. But an alliance, apart from involving quid pro quo arrangements as above, also has mutual understandings or agreements, essentially on a raft of high level policies, where one non-negotiable of DAP would be NOT to change Malaysia’s current (civil laws) legal system into a theocratic judicial (syariah) system.

But perhaps precisely because of PAS' election benefits from support of non-Muslim votersbuttressed by encouraging signs from the recent massive multi-ethnic support for Bersih 3.0, it has allowed itself to suffer from an excessive exuberant eidolon that by itself it enjoys broad appeal and popularity, and allowed the erroneous euphoric expectations of virtual victory to run riotously rampant in its head, and in so doing, has not only ignored its DAP ally's aversion to changing the nation's legal system, but arrogantly told it to stuff it.

PAS now believes it can go it alone, and to f* with its current allies (specifically DAP) if they won’t come to the hudud party (excuse the unintended pun).

Let’s re-examine what Harun Taib meant by his arrogant words of “… if not with the current partners we have in Pakatan… may be there will be other pacts that will lend us their support …”.

Pray tell me, what 'other pacts' will possibly lend PAS their support in the event of a Pakatan victory in GE-13 but with a DAP (or even PKR) refusal to support PAS in its demand to implement hudud?

Now, what was that remarkable political term so loved by PAS people like Hadi Awang, Nasharudin Mt Isa, Azizan Abdul Razak and (lurking or just standing by in the nearby shadow) Hasan Ali?

Malay unity! Specifically one with UMNO!

What Harun Taib has said was just (unmistakably) this: If Pakatan wins in GE-13, and PAS has a sizable number of federal MPS, it will if necessary combine with UMNO (and perhaps the Chosen Ones of PKR) to implement hudud.

You can spin it any which way you like, like Hadi Awang’s sweet nothing Let's celebrate our differences to Karpal Singh’s voiced concerns about PAS’ hudud intention, but there's no mistaking PAS' openly voiced intention to jettison the alliance like a used tissue paper, of course after it has already won enough seats with support from (DAP/PKR canvassed) non-Muslim votes.

The problem with celebrating the 'difference' Hadi Awang alluded to, namely hudud, is that once the Islamic legal system has been implemented, non-Muslims will discover too late it's not something they will imagine celebrating, assuming that celebrations, especially those of non-Muslim variety like Valentine’s Day, concerts by foreign artists, wearing of lipstick and perfumes, Lion Dances, dancing, Thaipusam, Cheng Beng, etc, will even be permitted.

Therefore, those apologists who have attempted to dismiss Karpal Singh’s (and my) concerns that it won’t affect non-Muslims or that if non-Muslims have done nothing wrong they shouldn’t be worried about hudud, have not convinced any of us, more so when we have witnessed in so many other nations ruled by syariah-hudud laws that such laws in the hands of unaccountable clerics have oppressed rather than protect the rights of the ordinary people. Please name me one, just one Islamic nation anywhere in the world, as a model of good governance, and a nation where social justice, human rights and democratic processes are upheld.

Thus, we will see hudud invariably and severely affect the lives of non-Muslim Malaysians, regardless of what mealy-mouthed promise PAS may offer to non-Muslim voters.

As I wrote in my previous post PAS and its hudud the problem is not with Allah's word, but unfortunately, when we leave His laws in the hands of clerics, who would of course claim they speak in the name of or on behalf of Allah swt (and it’s a universal trait, not exclusive to any religion), we are immediately at their tender mercies, prejudice and vested interests. And I don't believe that clerics (save for rare exceptions) rank very high in most people's esteem.

Indeed, why should we change from the current system of civil laws which in so many countries have worked so well? The problem is not our civil laws but the current government and its control over so-called independent institutions and the manner in which they (mis)exercise those laws. We should therefore change the corrupt practitioners of our civil laws rather than change the legal system. I’m prepared to vote out BN but not vote in hudud.

Additionally, we already have a parallel legal system for Muslims to seek relief from or deal with matters specifically Islamic, namely the syariah courts. I am not abashed by stating that non-Muslims are comforted by the fact syariah courts have no jurisdiction over them. Yes, there have been a few cases where the civil courts have disgracefully abdicated their jurisdiction over to these syariah courts, though these were due more to the cringe of some judges rather than the failure of the Constitution or the legal system.

So again, why should we accept a hudud system where it replaces the current system and thus directly affects non-Muslims constituting 35% of the population. As I said, I'm not convinced nor assured by PAS' promise that hudud only applies to Muslims. Once it comes into force, no one can argue with the clerics who may decide otherwise. I don't want to be judged nor dictated to by people who seem obsessed with doling out prohibitions and punishments. Imagine dealing with nightmares like Harussani, Hasan Ali, cannot-question-my-fatwas Azizan Abdul Razak, etc.

And Muslims could also argue that the current law is already harsh enough with its draconian capital punishments and don't see any need to add on to it stuff like hands chopping and stoning to death, the latter advocated by Pak Haji Aziz for social problems such as young single women abandoning babies.

At least the current civil laws, other than the irreversible death sentence, allows for reasonable redress of mistakes in judicial judgements. A person wrongly imprisoned still has a chance of being released in a favourable review, while a hand chopped off on an incorrect charge or incorrect court judgement remains forever chopped off, or worse, with the authority's realization of the drastic miscarriage of justice, persuades cover-ups.

Thus Harun Taib’s arrogant announcement on the implementation of hudud, undoubtedly the policy of PAS, has presented us with a nasty situation where we have on one hand an utterly corrupt UMNO incapable of good governance, and on the other, a PAS hell bent (no pun intended) on implementing hudud, which in the face of worldwide evidence of rule by syariah-hudud system, won’t promise any improvement, au contraire, to what we're experiencing with regards to social justice, human rights and especially democratic process.

Thus the dilemma facing non-Muslim voters is that presented by the old saying, Between Scylla and Charybdis.

According to western classical mythology, Scylla was a six-headed monster on the shore while Charybdis was a nearby sea monster in the form of a whirlpool. The ship intending to reach a desired destination was forced to sail between these two dangers, except that they were so closed together that invariably the ship’s captain had to choose one to encounter during the passage through. ‘Twas a choice between two evils.

While on mythology, I'll indulge in a quick lil’ aside (or as RPK would say, a wee bit of cheong-hei). There is a Chinese myth that the tiger and the leopard come from the same mother tigress, as siblings, which was why/how Aw Chu Kin, the creator of the Tiger Balm ointment, named his two sons, Aw Boon Haw* (tiger) and Aw Boon Par (leopard).

* founder of Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Jit Poh and Guang Ming Daily

And that is the dilemma facing non-Muslim voters, one which places them between Scylla and Charybdis, or between two nasty predators, the UMNO tiger or the PAS leopard, legendary fierce fraternal felines, where according to the latter’s recent stated religio-political strategy, may possibly unite as the next new government to implement hudud.

Okay, I won’t ask Anwar Ibrahim and PKR to state their stand on this because I appreciate he's also caught between Scylla and Charybdis, where no doubt UMNO will pounce on whatever he says to discredit him with either the heartland or the non-Muslims, though it would be interesting to know his inner thoughts on this.

But PAS avowed intention to implement hudud, regardless of dishonourable treachery to its Pakatan allies, represents a clear & present danger to non-Muslims.

Many of you will have to make an eventual decision, to support a hungry rapacious tiger or an angry ferocious leopard. Alas, there is no third choice unless Anwar Ibrahim courageously, daringly and conscientiously stands up against PAS' hudud avowal.

This is your, our dilemma.


  1. The Hard-Core of PAS doesn't see forming "other" alliances to implement Hudud as a betrayal.
    In fact it is actually mandatory to support Hudud, if you stick to religious principles.

    You cannot claim to be an "Islamic Party" if you do not do whathever it takes to get Sharia implemented as the law of the land.

    As I keep reminding the non-Muslims, especially the Chinese in Malaysia - support UMNO, support BN.

    You really have no other choice.

  2. Maybe there is chance for some middle ground candidates and give the non-muslim a choice to teach arrogant PAS cleric a hard lesson. :-)

  3. If you look around the world, where Sharia has been made the primary legal framework , there is no country where it has remained "strictly for Muslims only". Offences related to Muslim religious practice, of course, apply to Muslims only. But in all cases where Sharia is applied as criminal law, non-Muslims are equally punished.

    In fact the sheer harshness of Sharia law becomes a driving factor to ensure that everyone is subject to the law, on the grounds of "fairness".

    You can't allow a situation where 3 men are found equally guilty of committing a robbery, and the 2 Muslims have their hands chopped off, and the Non gets away with a mere prison term, can we ?

    There are advantages, though. There is very little violent crime or robbery in Saudi Arabia. When I was there, I found to my surprise my host's home in an urban area had very little built-in security.
    No heavy steel grilles, multiple layers of padlocks, sophisticated alarm systems etc.

    "Its safe" was all that he said.

  4. what is this u r talking about ?

    PAS is saying replace Syariah with Hudud.

    Now in itself, Syariah has nothing to do with non Muslims?

    So, what is your issue here mr ktemoc? if u r against Hudud for muslims, u should also b against Syariah for Muslims also.

    get consistent !


  5. Hudud is a sub-set of Shariah laws

  6. monsterbaby, my late grandfather also told me the same effect, that during Japanese occupation of Malaya, there was hardly any crimes of theft or robbery. Houses could leave their doors open and be safe. If we wanted that we would have beg the Japanese occupiers to stay back.

    sunwayopal, as a non Muslim I don't wish for my family or myself to live under hudud. Once hudud comes it, it applies to everyone - as monsterbaby said, with sharia law system, there's no such thing as separate law system for Muslims and non Muslims. Hudud will apply to non Muslims. For example, European and Australian tourists and stewardesses have been jailed in the Gulf countries for drinking.

  7. Hudud Shmoodud !! Looks like the start to the talibanisation of malaysia has already began.

    I am a malay ( tho'not necessarily a muslim) and I prefer the secular civil laws that are already in place and have served us well so far. If people want to live under sharia or shmoodood laws, they can migrate to some arab dogol land, and good riddance I say!

    I want a system of rules that can evolve and change with the upward development of human understanding of all things human - socially, psychologically, culturally etc. and not based on someone's non- existent deity purported decree which is supposedly immutable. Give me a break!

  8. Harun for PM.....

  9. KTemoc said...

    sunwayopal, as a non Muslim I don't wish for my family or myself to live under hudud. Once hudud comes it, it applies to everyone - as monsterbaby said, with sharia law system, there's no such thing as separate law system for Muslims and non Muslims. Hudud will apply to non Muslims. For example, European and Australian tourists and stewardesses have been jailed in the Gulf countries for drinking.

    yes, EXACTLY my point.

    Now Malaysia has a shariah system which excludes non Muslims right?

    So, since u so fear implementation of hudud becoz u fear one day hudud might b imposed on your children, why dont u hentam the SYARIAH system of today?

    Whats to stop syariah itself being implemented on non Muslims?

    isnt it the same illogical fear?

    If u think they can subsequently change their minds on a 'future hudud' what about the 'today syariah'?


  10. wow, Tun Ling also a pundit??? Well, if he spill some beans, I would let him walk if Pakatan wins... can't do if he asks for more...

  11. Do not fall into the trap to talk Hudud laws.
    Najib is laughing over this one subject to see DAP and PAS are at loggerheads.
    Hadi Awang is smart enough to tell Karpal to stop talking.
    You go into the discussions, you are trapped by Ktemoc to discuss and ONLY BN benefits.
    Ktemoc is smart to lure Monsterbaby by agreeing and make her talk more.
    Each backward country have their laws.
    In olden days, China chop heads and England hand murderers.
    One looks blood thirsty but not really so. The other hang and still on going.
    Both are so call good laws depending which country you are living.
    With that , just remember, it's all discussions and PAS will NEVER govern the whole country.
    What they want maybe very important for Kelantan and backward States.
    Let the politicians argue this Hudud and don't fall into the trap of Ktemoc who is a BN supporter.
    Come to religion and race, you must not discuss, for UMNO b love to talk this subject and KT is not one you can trust at all.
    He is a sly fox.

  12. sunwayopal, currently we have the Constitution which states civil laws are supreme which has been why the syariah courts are only restricted to issues peculiar to Islam such as apostacy, Muslim inheritance etc. The civil laws are the non-Muslims' protection.

    But PAS proposes to change the Constitution to upgrade Islam status from being just the nation’s official religion to Addin (the way of life), meaning hudud becomes the supreme law. Where is the non-Muslims protection other than a vague verbal promise by one particular PAS person at this stage of history?

  13. "In olden days, ..." people didn't wear clothes let alone shoes. And pedophilia was allowed wakakaka.

  14. I'm resigned to the fact that by the time my granddaughter reaches adulthood, she will probably have to put on a tudung and myriad other concessions to Dhimmi status.

    Either that or emigrate to more hospitable shores.

    Its not even specifically about PAS, UMNO or PKR.
    The slide towards Islamic theocracy is a long and slippery slope, which we are already well on the to the average Malay and its Islam this, Islam that....
    Malays face many challenges and social problems, and they have been brainwashed into thinking more and heavier doses of Islam is the answer....

  15. For PAS not to implement syariah is self-defeating. This has been from the beginning, now & forever -it's like the proverbial frog being boiled.. coming slowly in small doses.

    Second, Muslims only think that non-Muslims in Malaysia have only one concern, especially the Chinese ... eating pork, drinking alcohol, gambling and having orgies. Although the sinner is to be found in every heart, I think we are looking beyond these external "inconviences" if they are taken away. So these are not the true concerns of thinking non-Muslims.

    Third, the general argument is that Muslims are interfering with their faith. Surely not!! However, non-Muslims are concerned that religious leaders are encroaching on the civil liberties of others and the affairs of the state (including the place of the consitutional monarchy). Its seems that assurances of "life goes on" for the non-Muslim is interjected with a caveat... "but if they so wish to fall under the same purview..."

    Reading comments to your articles, they seem to have a superficial understanding of their own religious leaders and the implementation of the sacred text & oral traditions. Again, Muslim must ask their religious leaders how a non-Muslim is treated under syariah.. the position both legally & socially as a "dhimmi". Again, not to be inconsistent, they will need to follow the way of jurisprudence spelled out in the Syariah in the treatment of the "dhimmi". (refer especially to the academic works of Bat Ye'or).

    But is this all political posturing? Yes & No. The dynamics of GE12, Bersih 2.0 & especially Bersih 3.0 play a dynamic part on what can & will take place.

    All three PR partners are determined to reach Putra Jaya with one partner envisioning the utopic state that is within grasp. Bersih 3.0 seems to give fesh impetus on this believe. Like when servants of colonial powers saw he British humbled & bleed before the Japanese (Asian), they didn't seem so "tuanified" after all - "demystification of the gods". This led to the rise of nationalism & the desire for independence.

    With the incessant propaganda by pro-UMNO bloggers or using RPK's "perception is everything" jargon, DAP is seen as running the show and PAS cowering to this Christian, Chinese, chauvinist leaders. This does not auger well for Malaysians. Do we blame them? Look at the comments from non-Malays, non-Muslims, pro-ABU, idiotic DAP/PKR representatives...

    Therefore, the Malay dilemma is the Malaysian dilemma. Malay unity & unity among the ummah is upmost in both PAS & UMNO (each for their own reasons). So why not do horse trading when the fruits are within reach?

    What about PKR? How does PAS view the dilliance of sodomy 1.0 & 2.0 plus the latest "jamban" incident. Can they face the faithful? What is the place of the Chinese players in PKR? Are they a semi-DAP or worst? Can PKR unite the ummah? So far unity among PR & the masses has been on sheer natural charisma & oratory skills, plus the common disdain for BN. So to hold the secular & sacred together, at best revert to the old firebrand to dig up a few more old tricks. But they know that the glue will unravel.

    First, Malaysians respect the place of the Malays. Second, there must arise new Malay leaders (Third Force) to unite and pave a new Malay agenda. Malaysians will surely follow if these new leaders are charting us out of the third world into a new brave one.

    Or will BN be daring enough to dissolve to become one party?

    Otherwise, India & Cina, balik kampung. Iban & Dayak boleh berpisah if religion & state cannot be seperated.

    Minda Bebas

  16. There is very little chaotic criminal offense or theft in Saudi Arabic. When I was there, I discovered to my shock my host's house in an city place had very little built-in protection.
    No hefty precious metal grilles, several levels of padlocks, innovative house etc.

    Michigan DUI

  17. Now, Tunku Abdul Aziz resigns from the DAP. He says the government "is on the right track, listening to the people".
    I'm sure he will join UMNO next

  18. Yep. Expected. How can he stay on when they have revoked his senatorship for supporting Bersih.
    Tunku Aziz is a naive man if he thinks he wants to be a conscience man by joining the party.
    That party is democratic in name only.
    I give the two frustrated UMNO men Sakmongkol and Aspan Alias a short-stay in DAP.
    Now they are still in love with the party. But soon the love will fade.
    If Tunku Aziz whom I regard as Chinese can't bide the party, how can the two very Malay men stay for long.
    I don't think Malays can adapt to that chauvinistic Chinese party.
    Don't bring in Zairil, the step-son of Khir Johari who is pure Chinese.
    The so-called Malay leaders were invited to woo the Malay voters.
    I don't think Malays are attracted to join or vote DAP even with the inclusion of the three Malays.
    Frankly, the DAP does not lose with Sakmonkol, Aspan or Tunku quitting.
    The status quo remains. It will only get the Chinese votes which they are after.

    N.B.I am the real Buttercup. Don't want anyone to use my moniker and start saying I am for DAP.

  19. Tarzan was actually NOT wearing at all until Jane appeared !

  20. There is something not quite logical and rational about cutting off the hand of a thief as punishment.

    Nobody wants to steal, and when people do it the reason is because they were forced by circumstances - unable to get a job, and unable to engage in income-generating activity. Thus they steal in order to survive.

    When they are caught and punished with a hand being cut off that will render them even less employable and less capable of working in order to support themselves. In other words, they will be consigned to possible life-long unemployability and poverty and therefore even more reason to steal.

    The question begs to be asked - where is the logic, where is the justice, where is the compassion in such a form of punishment?

  21. Kulasegaran, your comment is spot on....."The slide towards Islamic theocracy is a long and slippery slope, which we are already well on the to the average Malay and its Islam this, Islam that....
    Malays face many challenges and social problems, and they have been brainwashed into thinking more and heavier doses of Islam is the answer...."

    More so when the non Muslims population is shrinking rapidly too.

    But there is an undeniable relatively small core of 'liberal' Malays who are vehemently against having such absolute theocracy rule to replace our current so-called secular system of governance.

    As some one here commented, we need a third force, to bring forth a new Malay agenda (or rather a new Malaysian agenda ), to bring us into a 'brave new world' sans the holey men and sans the corrupt-to-core current adminstration.

    With the GE13 just round the corner...the so-called 3rd Force would be impossible for now. The only option is to ensure BN win this round of GE (despicable as it may seemed) and at the same time, to teach PAS a hard lesson, reduce their seats to less than 10. And in the ensuing 5 years before the next election, prepare the groundwork for the emergence of a dynamic new 3rd Force. This option seemed to be the only and last chance for Malaysia. Otherwise, we will continue to slide the slippery road to 'hell'.

  22. senang aje, undi bn ke putrajaya tapi undi pakatan di negeri.

  23. "senang aje, undi bn ke putrajaya tapi undi pakatan di negeri."

    Lepas itu...continue with the horrendous sabotaging of the PR-controlled negeri-negeri by taiko UMNO...causing instability, much to the detriment of the economic and social welfare of the rakyat.

    And continue with the daily bashing of the non Malays, especially the Chinese, by the likes of UMNO-sponsored Perkasa and have more burial ceremonies of LGE in Penang by the Indian Muslims. Tak habis habis the Utusex Meloya and Berita Hairan and the Star spinning all the lies.
    Remember NST changing the word "Jew" to "Islam" to slander an Australian senator. And they will continue to rob the country dry.

    So this idea of allowing UMNO to remain in Putrajaya is just not on. Tetapi, with the PAS wanting to turn traitor now, it is better to allow the Big Robber to remain on for the time being while we deal with PAS....let's throw PAS out and let them wander and stew in the wilderness for eternity.

  24. Anon 12:38 am
    Nobody wants to steal, and ........the reason is because they were forced by circumstances - unable to get a job, and unable to engage in income-generating activity. Thus they steal in order to survive.

    I tend to agree the Hudud punishment is too severe and irreversible, but your argument is too much of a cop out.
    People come in many stripes, and, unfortunately, there are those who will prefer to steal from others rather than work for it through their own efforts.
    Sure, there are a minority of cases of those who have stolen bare necessities out of desperation.

    The vast majority of cases of robbery or theft are carried out by able-bodied people who have taken the path of crime by choice.

  25. People.... do not be ignorant! All organised religion is political in nature. PAS is not saying anything new. Their ideology is based on 7th century Semitic traditions. DAP knows that.
    The people of Malaysia who vote must not be fooled into the lull of what the Arab's call 'taqiyya' which is what PAS is practising.

    Karpal knows these very well and so do all who dealt with the Arabs...
    Vote out BN completely but do not vote too many PAS people in.