Before UMNO shares its voting intention on hudud with the public tomorrow, I would like to point out what I think are the two assumptions behind hudud politics, as pushed by PAS.

One, all non-Muslim MPs would/must refrain from voting in the Parliament.

Two, all Muslim MPs would/must vote yes.

These assumptions are the very reasons why PAS think they have the numbers in the Parliament. There are 135 Muslim MPs out of total 222 Malaysian MPs. Assuming no abstained vote and full attendance, they will need at least 113 yes votes only to pass the bill with certainty.

But these assumptions are merely assumptions and they are far from being right.

The first assumption is based on the idea that hudud would not affect non-Muslims and so, non-Muslims have no business to interfere. I have registered my hostility to that notion for a long time now and I am restating it here: hudud is not a Muslim issue exclusively. It is a national one and so it affects all of us regardless of beliefs one way or another. Why? Anything that affects the majority population will inevitably affect the character of the whole society. And already, even with the current dual systems that we have, there are conflicts between Muslim authorities and the non-Muslim population, which proves that no community works in isolation.

The second assumption is based on the idea that the Muslims — really the Malay community — are monolithic. Further embedded in the assumption is that no Muslim-Malay would go against the words of god, which in turn is dependent on yet another assumption that takes the bill for the words of god. But the Malay world is diverse and not all would believe what a preacher-politician have to say. On top of that, several counterarguments have been thrown back to PAS and among them that the bill PAS plans to introduce to the Parliament is not god’s law but rather, it is written by PAS, i.e. human-made.

There are signs that the two hudud assumptions are disintegrating. DAP and PRS will vote no, primarily breaking the first assumption. PKR and PBB will vote no as well, breaking primarily the second assumption, as well as the first one since they have a number of non-Muslim MPs.

The pro-hudud camp is angry at this. As their assumptions fall apart and unable to appeal to the mind, they are now left with only physical threats to cow others into submission. 

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