RUU355 will always be a threat to our Secular Constitution so long as UMNO remains in Power

The 2-year episode of RUU355Amendment Bill (Hudud Bill) has exposed the frailty of secularism under our Federal Constitution. It has also exposed the danger of having an over-powerful UMNO who is able to play around with the secularism enshrined in our Constitution based solely on its political strategic consideration. 

Before Najib declared 2 nights ago that the Government will not adopt Hadi’s Hudud Bill, he has openly announced that the Government will adopt Hadi’s Bill as the Government Bill and tabled it in Parliament. Ahmad Zahid had also repeated such stand.

Then, why the U-turn on the part of Najib and Ahmad Zahid on this issue two nights ago? 

Basically, it is based upon political strategic consideration of UMNO and not about defending the Constitution. Otherwise, Najib would not have made the earlier contradictory announcement.

At present, PAS has only 14 MPs and UMNO 86. The 2 of them do not have more than 50% of the MPs in Parliament. Whether the other BN MPs will support the Bill, despite the fact that it is tabled by the Government, remains questionable. 

However, even if they do support, the BN, in tabling the Hudud Bill, runs the risk of losing Sarawak and Sabah in the coming General Elections. This is a real risk that Najib cannot afford to take. 

As a result, the Hudud Bill is thus postponed to another date. But surely this is only a temporary measure. The whole issue may again be revived in another 5,10 or 15 years when UMNO becomes more powerful.

It is obvious from the present Hudud Bill issue that, there are only 2 political parties in Malaysia that supports the implementation of Hudud Bill in Malaysia, namely PAS and UMNO, one a party of religious bigotry and the other one a party of racism. The Hudud Bill is thus a convenient tool for the 2 to garner support for their parties. 

In the recent RUU355 episode, the biggest loser is PAS. By taking the bait of UMNO in the form of RUU355, PAS betrayed Pakatan Rakyat and suffered the party split that give rise to the formation of AMANAH. PAS has hoped to work together with UMNO only to be played out by UMNO later. 

PAS has now become a lone party that belongs to neither the ruling coalition nor the Opposition coalition. It will have to fight both BN one the one hand and either AMANAH or Bersatu on the other hand in the coming General Elections. PAS has now become the political party which is fit for the politics of only one or two states of Malaysia.

It is thus foreseeable that PAS, under the leadership of Hadi, will lose more than half of the present number of MPseats and even running the risk of losing Kelantan in the coming GEs. 

Therefore, in the next 2 decades, PAS will not be able to have a large influence on Malaysian politics.
On the other hand, we are now left with the other political party that supports the implementation of hudud law in Malaysia, ie. the UMNO who has SUPP, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, PBB to help in disguising their ulterior intention.

UMNO has, through its indoctrination of racism and religious bigotry in our education system, churned out more and more racists and religious bigots in our country. The import of West Malaysian Islamic religious teachers into Sarawak is just another example of such brain-washing projects of the UMNO on the Sarawak populace.

In another 10 – 20 years’ time, there will be more Sarawakian Muslims thinking the same way as the PAS and UMNO bigots. There will be even more PBB leaders having the same mentality of the present UMNO leaders.

There will come a time when Hudud Law will be tabled by UMNO and the support therefor will be stronger (even in Sarawak) because:

1. the increase in the Muslim population at a faster rate than the other races;
2. UMNO’s brain-washing programs will turn more Muslims into agreeing to the implementation of hudud law in Malaysia;
3. Through the unfair electoral re-delineation exercise, UMNO will always have more proportionate number of MPs in Parliament after every re-delineation exercise.

Today, Sarawak may have objected to the implementation of hudud law in Sarawak. However, if we continue to allow UMNO to import its ideology into Sarawak, in another 10 or 20 years, when those subject to the UMNO indoctrination programs have grown of age, will Sarawak Government continue to object to the implementation of hudud law? 

That is a pertinent question, especially given that there are now more than 1000 West Malaysia Islamic religious teachers teaching their version of Islamic values in Sarawak.

If we truly want to defend and preserve the secularism under our Federal Constitution, UMNO must be made the Opposition in the coming General Elections. It is only when UMNO is made the Opposition then that it can no longer implement its hudud agenda.
Chong Chieng Jen
Sarawak State Chairman
MP for Bandar Kuching/ADUN for Kota Sentosa