I said the danger of the historic electoral setback for UMNO in the 1999 general election and the emergence of PAS as the dominant Opposition in Parliament with 27 seats and a very marginalised DAP with ten seats is that Parliament in the next five years might principally become the battleground between UMNO and PAS for the hearts and minds of the Malays in the Malay heartland, resulting in a spiral of Islamisation and Malay-isation policies - threatening not only a democratic secular Malaysia but even Vision 2020 and the concept of Bangsa Malaysia.
Today, I read with concern the announcement by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Abdul Hamid Othman that the Cabinet had approved six draft bills seeking to streamline the administration of the various Islamic laws in the country.
Malaysians have not read of any other draft bills which the new Cabinet had approved in the past two months and this raises the question whether UMNO is spearheading a spiral of Islamisation policies to compete with PAS for the Malay heartland subordinating all other national concerns?
There must be a mechanism whereby Parliament and the nation are informed immediately (i) when the Cabinet has taken a decision that a new bill should be drafted, with the issue of a green paper stating the government’s policy intentions; (ii) when a draft Bill had been completed, which should be released as a white paper inviting public feedback; and (iii) when the Cabinet has approved a draft bill for tabling in Parliament.
This should be one of the parliamentary and government reforms to upgrade the quality of democratic governance in Malaysia in the new millennium.