5:30pm 01/03/2023
Hadi’s bogus ‘Islam washing’ in dismissing unity government
By:Dr. Rais Hussin

Hadi Awang despite being seen as a “religious” figure who may know how to understand the Quran and some theological issues in Islam, is often wrong on a long menu of issues.

Nor are these minor oversights. Rather, they are grotesque mistakes verging on calumny (fitnah) and what in Latin is known as “mala fide” (bad faith).

Malaysians, on most occasions, do like to respect the royalties, the institutions of the government, the police and the military. To a large extent, this is reflected, for better and for worse, in the long tenure of the previous administrations between 1955 and 2018 at the federal level

 2018 marked the milestone when Pakatan Harapan finally ended the long reign Barisan Nasional (BN).

However, in suggesting that the Unity Government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim can collapse in a matter of moment, which seems to be the flavor of the month for Hadi who appears to have a penchant of talking down at any entities or anyone he dislikes, the President of PAS is patently wrong if not maliciously so.

First and foremost, the legion of naysayers, ultimately, against the Unity Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, whose administration began about 100 days ago, came surging like the proverbial sandstorm in a desert.

These pundits worked themselves up into believing the the Unity Government will fall.

Whether it was some pundits in Asia Times or policy analysts in the West, the victory of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had the likes of these cynics affirming, with deceitful prejudice, that the Unity Government was not meant to last a month, let alone a term of five years.

One of the first to say so was none other than detractors of the Pakatan government, one of whom performed so badly at the 15th general election that all his candidates lost their electoral deposits.

The likes of this group asserted without any facts: “Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim would fail in all his economic policies in a matter of weeks, just you see.”

That remark was made in early December 2022, when the Unity Government did not even have the time to get all the coalition partners to immediately regroup.

As soon as the cabinet was formed, everyone was hard at work to prove their worth. They did. And they are still doing.

Now that the Unity Government has almost crossed the threshold of 100 days with the full approval of the Conference of Rulers to boot, which by extension implies that the Malay civil service that comes under His Majesty must comply to this royal edict in order to permit it to serve Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim effectively, the tendency to cast aspersion at anyone that is not a member of PAS or Perikatan National (PN) is manifesting once again in Hadi.

Yet, the national budget has been tabled successfully on February 24, and there are no signs that any of the coalition partners that formed the Unity Government are disagreeable to it.

Hadi must desist his old and low way of merchant trading Islam for narrow and political interests of his party.

Thus, Hadi’s assertion that the Unity Government can fall any time soon is a replication of those sardonic and pompous skeptics in and out of the Malaysian parliament.

Almost nothing with which others are doing can be right. That is except the sayings and amanats (fatwas) of Hadi and his ilk.

How can we ever forget the divisive Amanat Hadi that divided the Muslim Malays at one time? To date he has yet to apologize for such a horrible act that resulted in two imam prayers, divorces and the break of family relationships for decades.

There is actually a phrase for this personality defect: megalomaniac. Hadi and his cult personifies the extreme far right of political Islam.. Both of them are but two of the same kind. They get to where they are through sheer vitriol and spiel.

Secondly, it is worth remembering that there is now an Anti-Party Hopping Law that runs in tandem with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between all coalition partners in the Unity Government.

Anyone that seeks to bolt away from the coalition that underpins the Unity Government would trigger a by-election in which the incumbent is bound to lose.

One must remember that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is not only helming the Unity Government, he is the Minister of Finance, too.

Due to a potential looming global recession, the Prime Minister who is concurrently the Finance Minister has had to increase the overall budget by 16.8 percent to cushion any black swan financial event.

If anything, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim carries both the mandate and cache to lead an effective Unity Government, which is why the United Malays Nationalist Organization (Umno) has been able to purge some of their members in January 2023 without drawing any negative effects on the rule of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim at all.

Nor is Umno in disarray since Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership has been preferred as opposed to that of Perikatan National (PN).

Thirdly, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has received resounding endorsements of leaders the world over, foremost of which are the likes of President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia and President Xi Jinping of China, not excluding a series of endorsements from G7 and G20 member states.

These are the endorsements that did not come along matter-of-factly for the governments of previous prime ministers. Even with the government of the then Prime Minister Ismail Sabri whose tenure was a mere 13 months.

Thus, it is not without a tad of rich irony that it is Hadi who has suggested that the Unity Government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim would fall.

This is because unlike the current administration of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim which is backed by the anti-hopping laws and the MOU, the tenure of PAS and Bersatu did not have the necessary cohesion and national interest in mind to have both mechanisms at work.

PN was constantly waiting for the other MPs from Pakatan Harapan to jump into their bench. Except those who participated in the Sheraton Move on February 29, 2020, none others did except Dr. Xavier Jayakumar who joined Azmin Ali later.

Of the 11 MPs who participated in this traitorous move, the voters pushed eight of them out of office in Peninsular Malaysia.

Thus, the government of PN fell on their own swords. But the latter does not hold true for the Unity Government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, as the Unity Government is now as cohesive as ever to defeat PAS and Bersatu in at least three of the six impending state elections to be held before the end of July or August.

With the budget now out of the way, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim can lead the Unity Government to launch a systematic and evidence-based anti-corruption drive, of which some of the culprits of PN, and potentially PAS, would find themselves being called by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to answer some very serious questions on the circumvention of many direct government tenders not following any standard operating procedures.

Nor is there any likelihood of the Unity Government participating in any selective prosecution as those suspected to be in breach of any law, even if they are members of the current Unity Government. Tengku Zafrul, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is one of those who have been questioned by the MACC too.

Hence, if Hadi still deludes himself that this Unity Government is bound to fall at any given moment soon, he should ask himself why he was part of two of the shortest administrations in the annals of the Malaysian history, both during and after the Covid-19 lockdown?

Just because Hadi was part of two of the weakest governments in Malaysian history, it does not stand up to reason that the Unity Government will suffer the same fate, since Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has made tremendous strides to pacify the feelings of Umno, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) , Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and the rest.

Indeed, the two-thirds majority of the government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, the first since 2005, was not achieved by fluke.

Much effort was expended by some of the best political thinkers of all sides forming the Unity Government to give Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim a structural advantage, which will be leveraged in stopping the rot of Malaysia, alternatively the Islamic world, and the Asian Pacific region wracked by the geopolitical competing interests among the big powers.

Hadi must desist his old and low way of merchant trading Islam for narrow and political interests of his party.

He must instead act as a responsible Muslim, to do the right thing for the MANY!

The door to repentance is always open!

(Dr. Rais Hussin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of EMIR Research, a think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.)


Anwar Ibrahim
Dr Rais Hussin
Hadi Awang
unity government
Emir Research


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