Wednesday, January 14, 2009



Monday, 12 January 2009 07:27
Raja Petra Kamarudin

For the last week since Nomination Day, the government-owned mass media has been playing up the non-issue of Islamic laws or Hudud. Khairy Jamaluddin, the Prime Minister’s son-in-law, has been going around proudly telling his Umno Youth audience all over Kuala Terengganu that it was he who very cleverly trapped Husam Musa into making his (Husam’s) booboo statement on Hudud.The Star, the New Straits Times, TV3, and any organ that may reach the Chinese audience, have been mobilised to challenge DAP and PKR on its stand on Hudud.

They very carefully did not make any mention of Umno’s stand, though, lest the 89% Malay voters in Kuala Terengganu get an impression that Umno is hostile towards Islam. To undertake this ‘hatchet job’, Umno uses MCA, its running dog, while Umno keeps a deafening silence on the issue.Yesterday, PAS, DAP and PKR made history by agreeing that any policy decision must be made through consensus. A simple majority is not enough.

All three -- PAS, DAP and PKR -- have to agree on whatever policy matters. Even if there were one dissenting voice, this would mean the policy would not be accepted. It must be all three or nothing at all. And this will include matters related to Islam and whatever comes with Islam, Islamic laws or Hudud included.Pakatan Rakyat has turned the tables on Barisan Nasional. It is now checkmate.

The only issue that Barisan Nasional has in which to use against Pakatan Rakyat in the Kuala Terengganu by-election is Husam’s slip-of-the-lips. The Pakatan Rakyat candidate, Wahid Endut, is spotless. He has no baggage, unlike the Barisan Nasional candidate, Wan Farid Wan Salleh. So, in the absence of any tangible issues, the Hudud issue is the only thing they can use, however frivolous it may be.It appeared like Barisan Nasional may have hit a home run on the issue.

Some Chinese were beginning to believe the media spin and were asking what Pakatan Rakyat’s stand on the issue is. The number of doubters may be small. But in an election where a mere few hundred votes will determine the winner, every vote counts.

Then, yesterday, Pakatan Rakyat’s historic agreement that a consensus is required before any policy decisions can be made was reached. And, last night, in the Ocean Restaurant overlooking the South China Sea, in front of almost 1,000 ecstatic and applauding local Chinese voters, the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, announced the agreement reached between the three partners of Pakatan Rakyat.Pakatan Rakyat has practically killed the issue of Hudud, not only for the Kuala Terengganu by-election but forever.

Now that the issue has been buried, what is Barisan Nasional’s next move? There are only five more days till Polling Day. Can Barisan Nasional pull a rabbit out of the hat at this late stage of the campaign? Let’s wait and see. In the meantime, Malaysia Today too has a last Scud missile to fire at the Barisan Nasional candidate. But we shall wait to see what they do before we fire it.

Malaysia Today reporting from Ground Zero on the battlefield of Kuala Terengganu. Till we speak again, take care and stay tuned.

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