Saturday, September 24, 2011

If it ain't broke, don't fix it


Raja Petra Kamarudin

As they say, if it works, don’t fix it. Another saying: no need to reinvent the wheel. Yet another saying: lunacy is doing the same thing while expecting different results. Hey, if you want sayings, I have an abundance of them and I can write pages upon pages of sayings.

My favourite sayings, however, are those by Sun Tzu. This is because my wife sent me that book when I was in the Kamunting Detention Centre and it took me only a day -- from 7am to 7pm -- to read the entire book. The next day I read it again, and the third day yet again. (Well, there is nothing really much to do when you are in solitary confinement and reading helps take your mind of sex).

I know, at this point, some impatient readers are going to ask: RPK, what’s your point? Actually nothing. I just wanted to impress you that I know all the sayings and that I read a lot.

Hah! Gotcha!

Okay, let’s get serious. If it works, don’t fix it. And it worked ten years ago. So why change it if it works? Just use what works. And the Hudud thing works each and every time. So why not use it again? Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s do a Sun Tsu and get them good and proper.

Ten years ago, the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mahathir Mohamad, goaded and challenged PAS to implement Hudud in Terengganu. And PAS took the bait, hook, line and sinker. And that sunk the opposition coalition, Barisan Alternatif, faster than the Titanic.

What they probably forgot was that ten years earlier, PAS tried to implement Hudud in Kelantan. So they passed the law in the Kelantan State Assembly. But then laws can’t be passed unless approved by Parliament. But PAS did not have a two-thirds majority in Parliament. In fact, it did not even have a one-third majority in Parliament.

So the Barisan Nasional-dominated Parliament blocked it and the Kelantan State Government could not implement Hudud in the state. That was the end of the matter. Barisan Nasional shot it down even as it was still taxiing and before it could take off like what the Japanese did to the Americans in Pearl Harbour.

So the Hudud thing in Kelantan was a non-starter. I would even go so far as to say it was a no-brainer. Kelantan did not get its Hudud and the opposition was put to sleep. As they say: you release the bird in the hand and fail to catch the bird in the bush. And don’t they also say that a bird in the hand is worth TWO in the bush?

Ten years on, they did the same thing in Terengganu. And, again, they lost the bird in the hand and failed to catch the bird in the bush. And, two years later, the opposition paid the price, a very heavy price, when it got massacred and Barisan Nasional performed its best ever in Malaysian election history.

That was what happened in Terengganu ten years ago and in Kelantan ten years before that.

Now, ten years after that very bitter lesson, which the opposition still does not seem to have learned from, we are seeing history being repeated. Again, PAS is being goaded and challenged and, again, they are taking the bait and swallowing it hook, line and sinker. Again, Malaysia is embroiled in ‘The Great Hudud Debate’.

Do you think this Hudud controversy is about religion? If so, why not Pakatan Rakyat table a motion in the next session of Parliament to approve the Terengganu State Hudud laws passed by the Terengganu State Assembly ten years ago and the Kelantan State Hudud laws passed by the Kelantan State Assembly ten years before that?

Yes, let’s call their bluff. Let’s play poker. I just love a good poker bluff. I don’t play poker (in fact, I don’t gamble at all) but I just love a good poker bluff. Let’s take the challenge and table a motion in Parliament to approve the Kelantan and Terengganu State Hudud laws. Then let’s see what happens.

Will Umno vote in favour of those laws? If they do, then the other 13 members of Barisan Nasional will leave the ruling coalition and Umno will be left all alone with only one-third of the seats in Parliament. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will no longer have the majority in Parliament and will have to resign. A new Prime Minister -- not from Umno -- will have to take over. Barisan Nasional will be finished.

You want to play, let’s play. Then let’s see who wins.

Come on, how many seats does Umno have? Add that to the number of seats PAS has and how many will that come to in total? How many altogether? 100? 100 out of 222 comes to how many percent? Two-thirds? Or less than half?

You think Umno and PAS combined can form the federal government? 100 seats mana cukup? Throw in the ‘independent’ ex-PKR MPs also tak cukup. Still can’t get the 112 seats they need to form the federal government.

And you think ALL the 100 Umno and PAS MPs are going to support Hudud? Half the 100 MPs will walk off, take sick leave, resign, or whatever. Many will even openly vote against Hudud. Maybe you can get 50 or 60 MPs at the most voting in support of Hudud. 50 or 60 out of 222, that’s all.

This is not about religion. If it were about religion then all these people would not be so corrupted. Isn’t corruption haram? It is about politics. It is about using the old and proven formula of raising the Hudud issue to get PAS and DAP to fight and to see the opposition coalition break up like it did ten years ago.

The question now is: are PAS and DAP going to swallow the bait, hook, line and sinker? If they are then maybe they are not matured enough and are not ready yet to form the next federal government. Maybe we should allow Barisan Nasional to continue running the country until the opposition matures and not get trapped so easily.

When I say ‘bodoh macam lembu’, you get angry and say that I am arrogant. But if you really bodoh macam lembu what else can I say?

Let me close with another saying. When you make one mistake, that is forgivable. When you make the same mistake twice, that is stupidity. But if you make the same mistake three times in the row, then you don’t deserve to live. You should be shot dead. And let me be the one to pull the trigger. It will be my pleasure.

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