If You Think Najib Has Made A Statement About Hudud, Think Again

Najib's deafening silence on the implementation of hudud in Malaysia speaks volumes.

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Just when Malaysia thought the Prime Minister has finally voiced his stance on the hudud issue after the long wait, the nation was left disappointed again

A message claiming Najib has announced Umno's decision to allow lawmakers to decide themselves whether or not to support the hudud law had been floating around the internet

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The fake message claimed Najib announced today that Umno has decided to allow its lawmakers to decide for themselves whether to support the private members’ Bill on hudud that PAS intends to table in Parliament.

If the majority of lawmakers support the bill, the government would then have “no other choice” but to ensure that the law is implemented, the message said.

Today, the Prime Minister Office denied it, saying that they have not issued any statement on the implementation of hudud

The fact remains that Najib, along with the Barisan Nasional leadership has yet to declare their stand. It has been more than a week since Kelantan tabled the hudud bill.

Barisan Nasional’s (BN) national leadership has yet to declare its official stand on hudud although its lawmakers from Kelantan Umno had last week supported PAS’s amendments to a Kelantan enactment meant to prepare the state for the implementation of the Islamic penal code.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat, DAP, MCA, MIC, and Gerakan have all strongly rejected the Islamic penal code. Umno is the only one remaining.

Ever since PAS moved one step closer to making hudud a reality on 19 March 2015, the Umno Supreme Council had said that Najib statement is coming soon

On 22 March 2015, an insider from Umno Supreme Council told Astro Awani that “we have to wait for Najib’s statement on the hudud law which will be issued soon. It will be the party’s stance on the implementation of the law in Kelantan.”

Najib, he said wants to properly deal with the issue as it goes beyond political boundaries.

"It involves the interests of the people and the community, so definitely a statement to be issued later will be a win-win situation for all," he added.

The wait has been long and unnerving, so much so that Malaysiakini has published a counter counting the number days it will take before Najib say something

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BN's stance on the hudud bill is of national importance. Their decision to support or reject it will dictate whether or not Malaysia will officially practice the hudud law.

With PKR and DAP’s rejection, PAS, which only has 21 MPs in the 222-seat House, will need to rely on all of Umno’s 88 MPs, as well as more votes from other non-Muslim BN parties in order to get a simple majority for the Bill to be passed.

Najib's silence come as a disappointment to many, including former minister Tun Musa Hitam

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The UMNO Supreme Council member’s statement came under light after former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam expressed his disappointment over UMNO as the party has not issued its stance on Syariah Criminal Code II 1993 (Amendment 2015), or Hudud.

"I'm disappointed that UMNO appeared to be shocked (by PAS's move) and until now have yet to decide on its stance. I have been worried about this for some time," he said, in a statement.

Frustrated by the total silence, DAP's Lim Kit Siang and MCA's Liow Tiong Lai gave the Prime Minister 48 hours to make his statement, to no effect

DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang agrees with MCA President Liow Tiong Lai, who seems to be having the “shivers”, that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak be given another 48 hours to make his statement on the stand of Umno/BN MPs on PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill on hudud and its implementation in Kelantan.

According to Lim Kit Siang, should Najib still suffer from "labour pains" after that period and is unable to declare a clear stand that Umno/BN opposes the PAS theocratic goal, then a new political scenario has set in.

Lim said if Najib fails to announce that Umno/BN disagrees with the bill, this would be a tectonic shift in nation-building policies which the country's first three prime ministers had previously espoused without any equivocation.

Every Prime Minister before this had no hesitation declaring that the Federal Constitution would not permit the implementation of hudud, what is taking the fifth Prime Minister so long, Lim Kit Siang asks

"For nearly 60 years, every prime minister, when asked, had no hesitation in declaring that the Federal Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 would not permit the implementation of hudud, the Islamic penal system.

The question is, why has the fifth prime minister been agonising, for a week now, to reiterate what has been the Umno/BN/Alliance policy for 58 years from Merdeka and 52 years since the formation of Malaysia?" Lim Kit Siang says.

On the other hand, Perkasa's Ibrahim Ali says there is no hurry. He views Lim Kit Siang's ultimatum as a challenge to Malay leaders.

"What's the hurry?" Ibrahim said in a text message sent to Malaysiakini.

"Kit Siang is threatening the PM and giving him a chance to (make a stand on) hudud in 48 hours. Super. Since when did he become everyone's leader?” Ibrahim, who is the former Pasir Mas MP, asked. Ibrahim said Malay leaders would not take Lim’s challenge sitting down. "They will rise up and rebut this ultimatum," he said.

While Najib keeps mum, conflicting statements from Umno ministers have been confusing people about the government's official stand. Do they, or don't they support hudud?

Currently, Umno strongman, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said that Umno is in favour of the hudud enactment and will support PAS in this matter.This opinion was countered by Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Nancy Shukri, who together with the other non-Malay ministers, have come out against hudud.

To add this confusion, BNBBC chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad says that there is no standing orders for this bill and BN members are free to vote their own conscience.

Najib's statements on hudud before this had been contradictory as well. Before GE13 he said hudud cannot be implemented; after GE13 he said he does not reject its implementation.

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Now, in everyone's mind is not only Najib's official stance, but also what political strategy is BN playing with the silence

Political analysts Wan Saiful Wan Jan believes the delay is intentional as keeping quiet meant that Najib could avoid the spotlight, which is now on the spat between DAP and PAS. “It is a clever strategy. The PM is letting the enemy crumble,” he told Malaysiakini.

Wan Saiful noted that Umno has been treading carefully on the matter, avoiding public attention to the fact that the party was the one that aggressively goaded PAS to implement hudud law since late 2013.

If the strategy is to remain neutral until the Pakatan Rakyat crumbles under their own weight, it might be working. DAP has decided to end ties with PAS, to PKR's dismay.

PKR said today that it would play the role of mediator between PAS and DAP to ensure that Pakatan Rakyat does not split up, following the latter's decision to end ties with the Islamist party's president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang over the hudud issue.

"Pakatan is like a tripod. We cannot survive without one leg. In spite of the miscommunication and internal problems, we have our common interests and we will move along the same direction," Rafizi Ramli.

Malaysians are no stranger to Najib leaving questions unanswered, he has yet to make his statement on the open letter on moderation from the 25 eminent Malays

For a better understanding of the bigger picture of the complicated hudud controversy, we recommend reading this break down:

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