WHY UMNO AND PAS SHOULD WORK TOGETHER (EN)
WHY UMNO AND PAS SHOULD WORK TOGETHER
(Summary of My View)
Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad
1. The British colonised the Malay Peninsula (Malaya) from the Malays.
2. The Chinese and the Indians came in large numbers, first to seek their fortune and return to the home country, but ultimately remained in Malaya.
3. The Malays were united against the Malayan Union, against the threat of Communist terrorists and in the struggle for the independence of their “motherland”.
4. The non-Malays joined the movement for independence when they saw that independence was becoming a reality, to protect their own interests, after impendence.
5. PAS was formed when Haji Ahmad Fuad Hassan lost the contest for the post of President of UMNO to Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, initially as a branch of UMNO but later contested in the 1955 General Election.
6. When the Federal Constitution was being drafted, PAS wanted Penang and Malacca to be made “Malay States” (Sultanate) to safeguard the position of the Malays and Islam. The Malayan Communist Party (Chinese majority) took up arms to establish a China-centric Communist state. The Labour Party (majority Chinese) wanted the “Malay States” to be abolished and to establish a “unitary state” instead to avoid independent “Malaya” becoming a “Feudal State”. The Chinese people wanted “dual-citizenship”, Malayan and Chinese with the Chinese citizenship as the citizenship of choice, in case of conflict between Malaya and China. A group of Chinese in Penang did not want Penang to be an independent state within Malaya. They wanted Penang to remain as a British colony like Hong Kong.
7. As the British had colonized Malaya from the Malays, logically it should be returned to the Malays (like Brunei). But, the Malays were willing to share power with the non-Malays. As a result of a compromise, an agreement was reached. The substance has been written in the Constitution. Among other things, citizenship was granted to the non-Malays. Some of the things claimed by Malays like the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation, Malay language as the National Language, “special privileges” of the Malays (Article 153), the Malay Regiment and Malay Reserve Land were agreed to and provided for in the Federal Constitution.
8. In the 1955 General Election, Malay majority constituencies were given to non-Malay candidates from the Alliance component parties to contest in order to increase the number of non-Malay members of Parliament. This practice continued in order to ensure their victory because if they were to contest the non-Malay (Chinese) majority constituencies, they would lose. Instead, the Alliance and, later, Barisan Nasional never placed Malay candidates in the non-Malays majority constituencies because the non-Malay voters would not vote for Malay candidates.
9. On 31st August 1957, Malaya achieved her independence. At 12.00 midnight the number of citizens of Malaya doubled due to the non-Malays becoming citizens as a result of the constitutional provisions. Consequently, if in the 1955 General Election, the total Malay voters were 84.2%, in the 1959 General Election, only two years after independence, the Malay voters fell to 57.1%.
10. PAS was against the formation of Malaysia, especially including Singapore, for fear that it would adversely affect the rights of the Malays and the position of the religion of Islam.
11. For about three decades since independence, PAS had played a useful role for the Malays and Islam in Malaysia. PAS was not too big to be a threat to UMNO at Federal level. PAS’s influence was confined to the East Coast of Malaya. There is no difference to the Malays and Islam whether UMNO or PAS ruled Kelantan. Besides, the presence of PAS had caused UMNO to be more cautious on the issues involving Malays and Islam.
12. For about five decades since independence, except in 1969, there was no serious threat to the rights of the Malays and the position of Islam. The reason was because the majority of Malays supported UMNO, the Federal government under the Barisan Nasional, let by UMNO, was strong and UMNO was in a position to control the Barisan Nasional component parties from making unreasonable demands. The country was peaceful and prospered. Everyone enjoyed a better standard of living.
13. The situation changed in the last ten years or so. The Malays split into three. Seeing the situation, the Chinese who are good at scheming, united behind the DAP. PKR and PAS agreed to work with the DAP. Consequently, the non-Malays held the determining votes in the elections.
14. Feeling that they are strong, the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, began to make more demands and started to challenge matters concerning the religion of Islam, including the Friday sermon. They are not satisfied with “special privileges” enjoyed by the Malays. They want “equality”. They know that minus those “special privileges”, they would grab all because they control the economy, they are richer and more advanced in all areas. Actually, they want the rights of the Malays for themselves as well without giving up any of their rights.
15. If Pakatan Rakyat (including PAS) were to win the next General Election and succeed to form the government at the federal level, it is the DAP that would become the dominant party. PKR without Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not be taken seriously by the DAP. DAP would not listen to PAS.
16. The Pakatan Rakyat government will definitely erode the rights of the Malays and the position of Islam. The Chinese united behind the DAP because the DAP promised them more and they too wanted more than what they get under Barisan Nasional government. From where will that extra portion come? Definitely from the portion of the Malays.
17. It may be that they will not obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament and approval of the Conference of Rulers (where necessary) to amend the Constitution. At the same time, we must be vigilant about the possibility that they will make changes to Parliamentary constituencies by increasing the number of constituencies in densely populated Chinese areas.
18. However, it should be noted that the rights of the Malays and the position of Islam could be subverted just through administrative actions. For instance, the provision regarding the position of Islam as the official religion would only benefit the Muslims if and when the government does something to put Islam in that position. What we see today, like Islamic universities, institutions and departments; Islamic Financial Institutions and the development of Islamic banking and finance; the teaching of Islam from kindergarten to university, mosques, religious programs on radio and television and others are the result of what is done by the government. If nothing is done, there will be nothing, just the provision in the Constitution.
19. Similarly, the provisions on the rights of the Malays. If the ruling government does not do anything, there is nothing to be enjoyed by the Malays. We are enjoying the benefits today because the government has implemented various programs such as the New Economic Policy and the establishment of various bodies such as PNB, Skim Amanah Saham Nasional, Bank Bumiputera, Pilgrimage Fund Board, MARA, FELDA, RISDA, FELCRA, UDA , Pernas, DARA, JENGKA, KETENGAH, KESEDAR and others. The government has also implemented the policy on the provision of scholarships, recruitment of government officials and others. Without all these, those provisions would be meaningless.
20. Since independence, through policies and actions of the Alliance and, later, the Barisan Nasional governments, the Malays/Muslims had benefited from those provisions. I do not think that the Pakatan Rakyat Government would or would be able to do the same. What it means is that the rights of the Malays and the position of Islam will be eroded if the Barisan Nasional government led by UMNO, collapses.
21. In order to prevent that from happening, the Barisan Nasional government at the federal level must be sustained.
22. In my opinion the easiest way is: If after the 14th General Election, it is found that the Barisan Nasional government at the federal level would fall, PAS should join the Barisan Nasional government, at least at the federal level to save it. PAS must realize that by working together with DAP and PKR it would sacrifice the interests of the Malays and Islam. PAS should be aware that, in the context of Malaysia, what benefits the Malays will benefit the Muslims. What is detrimental to the Malays will be detrimental to the Muslims. Likewise, what benefits the Muslims will benefit the Malays and what is detrimental to the Muslims will be detrimental to the Malays.
23. Actually, at present, there is no ideological differences between UMNO and PAS to hinder collaboration. What is hindering collaboration is the fear amongst the leaders and supporters that collaboration would undermine their self-interests. In addition, are the issues that have been politicised because they are simple, cheap and popular to distinguish PAS from UMNO to win votes, for example asabiah and hudud.
24. PAS has ruled Kelantan for more than 40 years. What is the difference between Kelantan and other states in Peninsular Malaysia? Laws applicable now in use in the Shari’ah Court in Kelantan such as the Civil Procedure Enactment, the Criminal Procedure Act and the Islamic Family Law Enactment were introduced at the time when the State was ruled by the Barisan Nasional and I was the State Legal adviser. It is true that the original Enactments have been replaced but, in terms of the content, it only to harmonise them with the laws in other states ruled by the Barisan Nasional.
25. If Kelantan is “more Islamic” than other states and the Kelantanese want to live in an “Islamic state”, why do Kelantanese form the largest emigrants to other states to earn a living?
26. UMNO too has to address the problem of perception of corruption amongst its leaders, the main factor why the Malays “hate” UMNO, whether that perception is correct or not.
27. So, the leaders of UMNO and PAS who are both Malays and Muslims, who would gain and lose together, should concentrate on the major threat that lies before them, the Malays and Muslims in Malaysia. They should set aside their differences which were invented for political purposes and devote their efforts to save the rights of the Malays and the position of Islam.
28. According to my suggestion, UMNO and PAS may remain as they are now as separate political parties. (I do not see the possibility of PAS becoming a member of Barisan Nasional in the near future.) However, in my opinion, PAS should leave the Pakatan Rakyat. Pakatan Rakyat does not benefit the Malays and Muslims. At state level, PAS may contest on its own. PAS may rule states it wins, by itself. But, to prevent a state from falling to the DAP and PKR, for example Perak, PAS should cooperate with Barisan Nasional to form a coalition government. At the Federal level, PAS may choose to join the Cabinet and sit with the representatives of Barisan Nasional in Parliament. Or, they may choose not to join the Cabinet and sit separately in Parliament as “independent” members but, on issues affecting the interest of the Malays and Muslims, they would support the Barisan Nasional government.
15 02 2015