23 JULY 2014
I refer to YB Chong Chieng Jen’s statements in the recent few days regarding DAP Sarawak’s displeasure’ with PAS and YB Baru over the hudud issue.
Although I abhor bringing our internal coalition matters into the public sphere, I feel compelled to issue a reply to put the record straight as YB Chong’s statement has cast our Chairman in a bad light.
I was present at that PR meeting on the 16th May 2014, which YB Chong had taken the liberty to refer to in his statement yesterday. At the outset, let me state that the purpose of that meeting was not for PAS or PKR to make our stand on hudud – the matter was brought up by YB Chong without notice to us, catching the members of PAS off-guard. I am confident of what I say, because the meeting was recorded and minuted by us in detail.
YB Chong has admitted that YB Baru’s public stand on the hudud is clear. What he did not say is that his displeasure with YB Baru at that meeting stemmed from the fact that YB Baru would not gang up with him to try to browbeat the PAS members into submission. Contrary to what YB Chong said, YB Baru was not silent at the meeting. YB Baru in fact said that our position is clear on the issue, and that we have made it clear that we do not agree to hudud law for Malaysia. In addition, he said, at an internal meeting of the party leadership, it was stressed that at the Presidential Council meeting in 2011, all three parties had agreed that hudud is not in the Pakatan Rakyat agenda. It was also decided that all parties would respect each other’s aspirations, and while PAS has the aspiration of hudud law, it is not a PR aspiration. He also mentioned that it was recognised that even before Pakatan Rakyat was formed, hudud was already on the PAS agenda.
During the discussion, YB Chong was pressuring PAS to make an exception for Sarawak. The PAS members had explained that they could not make any statements that would be seen to contradict their national leaders’ positions.
Having said that, what transpired at the May meeting, and even YB Baru’s purported silence at that meeting (which is completely untrue) is irrelevant in the context of YB Chong’s ultimatum. YB Chong got his knickers in a twist after the meeting in KL last week between the Kelantan government and the Minister in the PM’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom. One would have thought that he would have called us for a discussion on the matter first, in light of the recent developments. If the talk had been futile, he could have then informed us about his intention to issue his ultimatum. Even if he did not want to meet with us again, he should have notified us of his intention before going to the press with it. Common courtesy dictates this as the minimum standard of good behavior and mutual respect as team players.
Needless to say, we are very disappointed with DAP Sarawak’s actions and very much regret the negative publicity it has generated.
Boniface Willy Anak Tumek
PKR Cabang, Mas Gading