Saturday, May 24, 2014

13th May has always been a dark history for Malaysia due to racial tension that occur in Kuala Lumpur. It resulted the State of Emergency to be announced. One fascinating thing about history is that, its always repeated itself. Even though it is not as severe as racial tension, 13th May 2014 marks the dark episode in the State of Terengganu when the State's face its second constitutional crisis for the second time in just over a period of 5 years. The crisis was triggered after the State witness the appointment of the new Menteri Besar, the State Assemblymen of Seberang Takir, Datuk Ahmad Razif bin Abd Rahman replacing Datuk Ahmad Said. The sworn-in ceremony was held at Syarqiyyah Palace before His Royal Highness Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu late in the evening.

After the sworn-in ceremony, the former Menteri Besar announced his resignation as an UMNO's members and becoming an Independent Assemblymen in the State's Assembly. His action later were followed by 2 other State Assemblymen resulted Barisan Nasional suffered a minor seat back. In the last General Election, Barisan Nasional manage to secure 17 seats out of 32 State Assembly contested seat. When 3 members of BN becoming Independent, Barisan Nasional at the time becoming a minority with only 14 seats, losing to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat who has 15 seats. The outcome of BN would face a vote of no confidence and the new Menteri Besar becoming the shortest serving Menteri Besar in Malaysia history was alarming.

Meanwhile, Terengganu's Pakatan Rakyat led by Tuan Guru Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang only taking "wait and see" stance regarding the issue. The social websites at the time were buzzing with the prospect of the new PR Government rise in power in Terengganu. Nevertheless, much of PR's supporters were in favour of a new fresh State's Election rather that seeing a coalition government with the Independents. In addition, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang also have a faith to the reigning Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin who have the capability to steer the State in the troubled time. This is the fifth Menteri Besar in the reign of Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin since his accession to the throne in 1998. In 1999 and 2004 respectively, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh were both appointed as Menteri Besar without much of a problem. The first constitution crisis occurs in 2008, when the palace has lost favour of Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and appointing Datuk Seri Ahmad Said instead.

While the people seeing the crisis with much anticipation, it is still certain the BN Government still standing when the Speaker of the State Assembly using his prerogative to side with BN and that increase the numbers of BN in the Assembly to 15-3-15 in par to that of PR and Independent (with much resentment from the public). After a week, the Independent Assemblymen has announced rejoined back UMNO and the majority of BN in the State Assembly is secured. The new Menteri Besar did also announced that his administration will retain the line set by his former. Probably so that the crisis will end on a soft ground. In election 2013, it is said that Datuk Seri Ahmad Said will have a troublesome time after the election to steer the State after witnessing several bad omen, it looks like they were right after all.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The implementation of Islamic Law of Hudud and Qisas in Malaysia has always been a sensitive and controversial topic. Since the independent of Malaya in 1957 and after the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Malaysia by its constitution has always been a secular country even though Islam has been acknowledge as the official religion of the federation. Malaysia is a multi-cultural and multi-religious society where Muslim only formed around 60% of its population. Due to the fact that Malaysia's colossal neigbour, Indonesia where more than 80% of its population are Muslims does not implement Hudud, gives Malaysia's leaders a good scapegoat to not implement Hudud in Malaysia, and always been stated that Malaysia is not conducive for Hudud to be implement. Until now that is, especially when Malaysia's small neighbour, Brunei Darussalam have announced the implementation of Hudud starting officially on May 1, 2014. Even though small in size, the demographic of Brunei is similar to Malaysia where there exist a sizable numbers of non-muslim population.

The fight to establish an Islamic State in Malaysia has started as early in 1940s during the time of Hizbul Muslimin. The mission is now still continued throughout the pre-independent period of Malaya by Pan-Malayan Islamic Party (PAS) and until now, it is still stated in the party's constitution and currently the sole fighter in Malaysia whom fights to establish an Islamic State in Malaysia. The implementation of Hudud in Brunei gives sudden momentum to PAS to implement Hudud in one of Malaysia's State, Kelantan. Kelantan since 1959 has always been PAS, and after the State falls to PAS again in 1990, the State has become the only State in Malaysia which still retains a strong conservative Islamic-Malay influence, also known as 'Serambi Kaabah' or the veil of Kaabah. And the announcement by His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei of Hudud implementation in Brunei has gain PAS's momentum of political will where PAS's MP wants to proceed of Hudud implementation in Kelantan through a Private Member Bill in Malaysia's Parliament this August.

Even though PAS MP does not represents even a plurality in Parliament, the other Malay party which still have a strong Malay support, UMNO have announced that it has never against Hudud and will support it when the Bill is presented in the Parliament. Meanwhile, other non-malay based parties specially DAP and MCA has announced openly that they are against Hudud. Nevertheless, MCA depleted numbers of seats in Parliament and even doesn't have any representatives in the Prime Minister's Najib administration left DAP as the only strong voice that against Hudud. The outcomes is extraordinary almost win situation for Hudud implementation where the combination of UMNO-PAS only needs another 4 MPs supports to gain Simple Majority support (if Sabah's UMNO members are in favour of the bill).

The public on the other hand have mixed feelings for the implementation. Most of the Malays are in favour of the bill, especially with the successful hudud's implementation in Acheh and Brunei. Meanwhile the non-malays are against the implementation, even though several factions are in favour of public sentences of hudud.

Personal Opinion

For me, the idea of Hudud Implementation should be not limited in Kelantan, but should covers at least all the Malays States of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Perlis. I am in favour of the Bill not just because I am a Muslim, but also because this is the only laws that can ascertain the safety of the community as a whole. Human Rights activist has always against the Islamic Laws under the name violates the human rights, but, for me, the laws is the only laws that can ascertain my rights as a citizens.

For example, thieves who sentences in Islamic Law for stealing, his hand will be cut. But, it is not as easy as that to cut someone's hand. His acts must also by his own free will, not mentally ill, not because of desperation, and there must be a certain value of the stealed properties equal to the value of certain amount of gold, as must be in a well-protected place. If one of the requirements is not met, the Hudud sentences will be drop and he will be sentence by Ta'zir (other sentences stated by act) law. Whether or not we have the political wills to do it, lets us pray and look in the upcoming Parliament Seating.


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