Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily
PAS has announced that it will organize a rally of 300,000 participants in support of the RUU355. The move has since reawakened the controversies surrounding the hudud law issue.
Barisan Nasional was taking the dominant place when PAS president Hadi Awang tabled the private bill in the Parliament. The PAS bill was being hijacked and whether it should be tabled in Dewan Rakyat and whether the issue should extend from here were completely in the hands of BN/Umno.
Umno could easily decide whether it wanted the bill to proceed, as it could as well reject Hadi's motion or keep it suppressed on technical excuses.
But today, it appears that PAS is regaining the reins in a bid to curtail BN/Umno's advances.
If the proposed rally gets overwhelming support from the Malay Muslims, a powerful pressure will be formed, and this will serve to further restrict the subsequent moves of BN/Umno. In the end, this whole thing will have to go as PAS has wished.
From the initial rejection to an upcoming mass rally to show support for it, it appears that the chances of PAS' private bill to get adopted in Dewan Rakyat is increasingly bigger, and the country is set to inch closer towards Islamization.
Umno and most other political parties basically operate along the secular lines, and theocracy and hudud law are not really their primary objectives. However, throughout years of political struggle in the country, at a particular point in time they have somehow made the rational decisions to push the country gradually towards religionization, giving the Islamist party added firepower.
On September 29, 2001, then prime minister Tun Mahathir announced that Malaysia was an Islamic state, sparking widespread controversies. Mahathir's move was purely political in nature aimed at diffusing PAS' Islamic policies and preventing it from making further advances in Islamization.
But when the Islamic state discourse began to gain acceptance among the authorities and the country's Muslim community, it has become more rationalized now to move the country down the road of Islamization.
In the meantime, even though DAP and PKR did not seem to agree with PAS' theocratic advocacy, they opted to team up with the party on strategic considerations, allowing the party to win the rare opportunity to step out of its safe haven in East Coast and rural Malay hinterland to gain foothold in new realms. Where political interests are concerned, working with PAS was the best option for DAP and PKR back then, and this could be proven by the election outcome.
When Umno decided to hold out the olive branch and give Hadi Awang's private bill the go-ahead last year, it was also an outcome of Umno's political calculations that goes well with the party's interests.
From Mahathir's Islamic state declaration to the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance and the Umno-PAS collaboration, at different points in time, the decision makers made the logical analysis and came out with the decisions that best fit into their aspirations. But unfortunately, such decisions have subsequently created complications beyond their control, and have indirectly provided expanded space for the country in its Islamization quest, allowing PAS to over and again induce the country down the path of Islamization.
Smart individual decisions have given rise to utterly deplorable overall consequences. As secular parties go after their own interests, they have allowed themselves to fall into the traps of PAS without they realizing it.