Monday, December 5, 2016

BARU BIAN: UMNO-HADI BILL NO SURPRISE


PRESS STATEMENT
2 DECEMBER 2016

The DPM was not successful in convincing Sabah MPs to support Hadi’s Bill but managed to talk to the Sarawak CM into retracting his opposition to the Bill and putting his decision ‘on hold’. It appears that to UMNO, the only way to push Sarawak BN over the edge is to adopt the Bill as their own, for Sarawak BN have always shown themselves to be compliant followers of UMNO/BN. UMNO will definitely play the ‘duty/guilt’ mind games with the Muslim BN leaders to support the Bill when it emerges again in its new form.

Sarawakians, who had been happily encouraged by the CM’s earlier bravado in supporting and defending our rights, especially before and immediately after the Sarawak elections, are fast becoming disillusioned by his steady retreat in the wake of the PM and DPM’s manipulative visits.

Lest anyone thinks UMNO is in it because of the obligation of religious ‘duty’, let us be clear about it – UMNO is desperate to latch on to PAS grassroots votes due to the eroding support from its votebank. Increasingly, Malays have turned away from UMNO for various reasons – revelations of massive corruption and 1MBD linked with the PM, the sacking of Muhydin Yassin and Shafie Apdal, the formation of Bersatu, etc. UMNO is turning to PAS, their onetime enemy for votes. It is a marriage of convenience for Hadi and Najib.

Najib/Hadi will try to sell their Bill as a non-Hudud product, and give their absolute and all-out assurance that it has nothing to do with Hudud and will not affect non-Muslims. We know from bitter experience that assurances from the PM and his minions are not worth anything. Recall the ‘Allah’ issue, the seizure of the bibles and CDs, the hardship faced by converts who want to leave Islam, etc.

In Sarawak, we must focus on our rights under MA63, the Malaysia Act, the pre-formation documents and the Federal Constitution. The Malaysia we agreed to form is a secular Malaysia. Our forefathers had insisted on it, Tunku Abdul Rahman had said it, and the courts have ruled on it. Any element of Hudud that is introduced into law will be a violation of this agreement, not to mention a contravention of the guarantee of equality under the Federal Constitution.

In this matter, ALL MPs must vote as Sarawakians first, and political affiliates second. I hope that all MPs will make sure they are at Parliament for the debate and voting, and resist the convenient ‘solution’ of absenting themselves so they do not have to make their stand known. Sarawakian MPs owe it to the people of Sarawak to act in their interests. In this matter, political allegiance and expediency must have no bearing on their votes.

As we have been reminded recently, all proceedings in Parliament are recorded in the Hansard for posterity. I hope that none of our MPs will have cause for regret if they are called to account for their actions in later years. This is an opportunity to create a legacy for our future generations. It is time to stand up and be counted as an equal partner with equal say in the future of Sarawak and Malaysia.

Baru Bian
Chairman, KEADILAN Sarawak/ADUN N81 Ba’ Kelalan

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