Act 355 – BN’s decision entraps Muslim MPs

 |Mar 31, 2017
Najib may have pulled a masterstroke to jolt Muslim MPs from Pakatan Harapan in the Act 355 wrangle.

If ‘the government’ has continued with its plan to take over the Act 355 Private Member’s Bill from Hadi and tabled it as a government bill, that would create a few negative perceptions.

First would be that ‘the government’ means just Umno and does not include the other 12 members of Barisan Nasional.

In that case, what DAP has been saying all these years is true.

So why should the other 12 parties bother to remain in Barisan Nasional?

Better the others all leave Barisan Nasional and let Umno and PAS form a new coalition without the rest.

The second negative perception created would be that Umno was so worried that the non-Malays or non-Muslims will not support Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

So Umno is very desperate for the Malay-Muslim votes, which is why it took over the tabling of Act 355 from Hadi.

This is Umno’s desperate attempt to woo the Malay-Muslim votes, which it would not get if it does not ‘prove’ it was more Islamic than PAS.

What happens now is that the Act 355 was no longer Umno-PAS versus ‘the rest’ – ‘the rest’ here means about 20 or 30 other political parties (from both sides of the political divide), religious groups (Muslim groups included) and civil liberty movements (many with Muslims included), etc.

The issue has been ‘simplified’ to Muslims who want the sharia amendments versus non-Muslims and Muslims who do not want the sharia amendments.


To Umno, it has done its Islamic duty by agreeing for ‘the government’ to take over the tabling of the Act 355.

However, since ‘the government’ also comprises of 12 other non-Umno parties, the matter must first be brought to the Barisan Nasional council for discussion and the 12 have outvoted Umno.

Umno now can either tell the other 12 to go to hell and prove DAP right or, in the spirit of consensus, listen to the other 12.

Barisan Nasional has already set its ground-rules, which was actually done during the time of Mahathir Mohamad.

All parties must unanimously agree to anything that Barisan Nasional does and a simple majority is not good enough.

Even if just one of the 13 parties object then Barisan Nasional cannot do it.

That is also how the Conference of Rulers make decisions on matters related to Article 153, Islam, the national language, etc.

It is either unanimous by ten rulers or else no go.

Muslim MPs dilemma

To PAS it has also done its Islamic duty.

It has brought the Act 355 to Parliament and it is now out of PAS’ hands.

It is now up to the Muslim MPs to ‘tepuk dada tanya iman’ or vote according to their conscience.

If their conscience says oppose the Act 355 then they will oppose it.

Finally it all boils down to between you and Allah.

It no longer has anything to do with PAS, Umno, Hadi or Najib.

If you think this is what Allah wants then vote accordingly.

If you think this is not what Allah wants then vote against it.

It is up to each Muslim MPs to decide.

Hadi can only drag the horse to water.

Hadi cannot force the horse to drink.

That is the long and short of it all.

This also deflects the allegation that Hadi was trying to stay in power with the support of Umno and that Hadi was Umno’s puppet.

What now are they going to say about Hadi since they are saying he had been played out or sold out by Najib and Umno?

When it was first announced that ‘the government’ was going to take over from Hadi the tabling of the Act 355, the opposition, DAP in particular, mocked and condemned Najib and Umno.

Now that they announce ‘the government’ was not going to take over from Hadi the tabling of the Act 355 after all, the opposition, DAP in particular, also mocked and condemned Najib and Umno.

I suppose if even God cannot please both the farmers and the fishermen at the same time how can Najib please DAP that sees rain as both good and bad at the same time and can never be made happy? – Malaysia Today

Disclaimer – The opinions expressed above are strictly those of the author and do not reflect or represent the views of Malaysia Outlook.

Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.