NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Datuk Seri, your party is touting you as Malaysia’s seventh Prime Minister. But then, if your party wins the next general election, your wife will be taking over as Prime Minister while awaiting your release from jail before you take over. Would that not make her the seventh Prime Minister and you the eighth?
No, officially I will be the seventh Prime Minister and that is why we have listed my wife as the interim Prime Minister. If she is named Malaysia’s seventh Prime Minister then you are right, I will be the eighth Prime Minister. But since she is the interim Prime Minister then I will be the seventh and not the eight Prime Minister.
But why can’t you list her as the seventh Prime Minister and you become the eighth Prime Minister? After all that is what is really happening, is it not?
But then that would make her officially a Prime Minister and I would be listed as her successor. We don’t want that. That is why it is very important that she is not officially a Prime Minister. That would mean after this current Prime Minister I will be the Prime Minister. I am the successor to the current Prime Minister, not a successor to my wife.
Why is it so important that you are the successor to the current Prime Minister and not a successor to your wife?
It’s a matter of image. In other countries such as India and the Philippines, and even almost in the United States quite recently, the wives succeed the husbands and not the other way around. Also there would be allegations of nepotism if my wife is the seventh Prime Minister and I am the eighth. This way there is no nepotism and I would not be succeeding my wife but I would be succeeding the current Prime Minister.
However you may want to do it or label it everyone will still know your wife is the seventh Prime Minister and you are the eighth.
That is okay. That is unofficial. Officially we must not admit this, though. So Malaysia currently has the sixth Prime Minister, my wife will be the interim Prime Minister, and I will be the seventh Prime Minister. That is how history will remember it and that is how the history books will mention it.
Okay, let us move on to a more important topic, the issue of Sharia laws, which caused the breakup up of the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat. How are you going to address this very crucial issue?
What is there to address? Sharia laws are not an issue. We have always had Sharia laws long before the country was granted independence.
Yes, but now it has become an issue.
Only because there are attempts to amend these laws. If we leave those laws alone and do not amend them then there is no issue. The issue is regarding the amendments to the Sharia laws and not about the law itself.
But then those proposing the amendments say that Malaysia’s Sharia laws do not properly follow what Islam stipulates and therefore the need to amend them to follow, say, the Qur’an, the Hadith and the Sunnah.
That may be true. But we cannot suddenly start changing things without first explaining to the people, educating them, and preparing them for these changes.
But that is precisely what PAS is saying. PAS said we have been educating and explaining the Sharia to the people since 1951, which is 66 years or three generations ago. How long do you want to keep educating and explaining the Sharia to Malaysians? If these people still oppose the amendments to the Sharia after 66 years is it not because of other reasons rather than because of lack of understanding or education regarding the Sharia?
Maybe so but we cannot force the people to accept these laws. We need them to willingly accept these laws. So we need to explain these laws and educate the people until they are ready and willing to accept them.
Which laws that Malaysia implements are done this way?
What do you mean?