UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has said that he is confident that UMNO’s allies in Barisan Nasional will finally accept UMNO’s explanation and understand the government’s decision to give priority to Hadi’s private member’s bill on RUU 355 and not only to support it, but to take one step further, for the Barisan Nasional government to take over Hadi’s private member’s bill after Hadi’s private member’s bill motion had been passed by Parliament.
Recently, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said that Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) enabled the government to circumvent the due constitutional process, as requiring consensus from all states, the National Islamic Council and the Rulers’ Conference.
This is what Jamil said: “You can’t bring it to the Rulers Conference if you don’t have consensus from 14 states, but a private member’s bill requires only one state or one person to table it.”
Jamil said that when Hadi’s private member’s bill motion moves to the second reading stage, it would be taken over by the government and read out by him.
Furthermore, the International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said that BN component parties will not be able to object to amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) once the bill is taken over by the Federal Government, as the BN component parties are compelled to support the bill as part of the ruling coalition.
From these statements from the three UMNO leaders, it is crystal clear that the Barisan Nasional Federal government will give priority to Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in the current meeting of Parliament to be debated and voted on after the debate on the Royal Address, although MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Sabah/Sarawak BN parties claim that they oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill motion as violating the Malaysian Constitution and the Barisan Nasional consensus principle.
But the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, insists as recently as during his visit to Sabah over the weekend that Barisan Nasional is a coalition which operates on the consensus among the 13 component parties.
How can Najib claims that there is consensus among the 13 Barisan Nasional component parties when MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, MIC President Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam and leaders of Sabah/Sarawak BN parties claim that they do not support Hadi’s private member’s bill motion?
Unless the BN “consensus” has now acquired a new meaning under Prime Minister Najib, that it represents UMNO hegemony and BN “consensus” is not arrived from consent, agreement and support of all the 13 BN coalition parties, but solely on what UMNO desires and wants.
As UMNO wants to give priority and support Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in Parliament, this represents the “consensus” of BN – although individual Ministers and leaders from the other 12 non-UMNO parties can belly-ache as much as they like about continuing to oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill motion on the ground that it violates the Malaysian Constitution and the Barisan Nasional consensus principle.
This really makes nonsense of the meaning of “consensus” as there is only UMNO hegemony and total subservience and submission from the other 12 BN component parties – representing a Master-Slave relationship between UMNO and the other 12 BN parties.
If this is not the case, then I call on 15 Non-UMNO Ministers out of the 35-strong Najib Cabinet to submit to Najib their resignation from the Cabinet and their resignation to take effect the moment Hadi’s private member’s bill motion is given government priority and comes up in Parliament for debate and vote.
This is the least that the Ministers from the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Sabah/Sarawak BN parties can do to show that they are men and women of principle, and not in politics just for position, money and power.
In the 13th General Election, Barisan Nasional won 133 parliamentary seats – UMNO 88 and the other BN parties collectively total 45.
If the 15 non-UMNO Ministers resign from Najib Cabinet, and the 45 MPs from the non-UMNO parties in BN withdraw their support from Najib, then the Najib premiership falls precipitating a political and constitutional crisis as the Najib government will have lost the majority support of the 222 MPs in Parliament.
Let us see whether the nation can form a new government committed to support Hadi’s private member’s bill motion – as I believe not all the 88 UMNO MPs are prepared to vote in support of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion.