Anwar Ibrahim has revealed a signed document between himself, DAP's Lim Kit Siang and PAS' Hadi Awang that none of us have heard of until now - an agreement to uphold the rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The Sept 8 agreement pledged to uphold Malay rights and the status of Islam as the official religion.
Anwar also said that the social contract between the races were already agreed upon by all members of the coalition. He also revealed that the four-paragraph agreement could not be changed by any party, according to The Star.
Despite the criticism against the social contract and even questions about its existence, the three opposition parties realises the reality of politics in this country. This is no different from positions taken by the Alliance and the Barisan Nasional component parties.
The Malays are the majority and they form the electorate. Without doubt the political landscape and the mindset of the many Malays have changed, which helped put Pakatan Rakyat in power in five states but issues relating to the Malay positions continues to be the core of the Malay politics. Anwar obviously understand the Malay psyche well and he realises that Pakatan Rakyat can never form the next federal government without assuring the Malay voters.
According to the Malaysian Insider, a survey carried out after the March 8 polls showed that 60 % of the Malay respondents voted BN and that Anwar ranked the lowest in terms of level of support from Malays.
PAS, particularly Hadi Awang, in fact, flirted with the idea of working with Umno after the March 8 elections because he did not liked the idea of so many non-Muslim MPs. In his own words, he is against the idea of having more Sabah and Sarawak non-Muslim MPs. Again, Hadi understands the realities of rural politics.
There's another reality non-Muslims must understand - issues relating to Islam that does not infringe upon their rights is best left to Muslim groups. The protest involving non-Muslim protestors recently against the tomboy fatwa was unwise. Similarly, there were also grumblings by certain politicians on the yoga fatwa. No one is saying non-Muslims cannot practise yoga. If non-Muslims want to be lesbians or tomboys, so be it. These fatwas are unlike Muslim groups or the Kelantan PAS government calling for the blanket ban of concerts, nightspots, gender segregated check-outs at supermarkets or wayang kulits, which would affect the rights of non-Muslims. Non-governmental organisations, especially headed by non-Muslims, must learn to be sensitive. Nik Aziz has his position on this issue. But I agree with the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan that they should be mindful.