Anwar says PAS has right to hudud agenda, but still needs Pakatan consensus

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, April 16 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today that PAS had a democratic right to pursue its hudud agenda but pointed out that the Islamist party would require majority support in Parliament to ever implement it.

He said PAS’s reason for tabling two private members bills in Parliament recently was to get the nod from federal legislature to allow it to enact a state law to introduce hudud that was passed in Kelantan in 1993.

Anwar added that PAS had pushed through the state law more than a decade before it joined Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

He said the Islamist party had the democratic right to pursue its goals although PR had agreed in general that PAS can only implement hudud if it receives majority support in Parliament.

“You have to remember that Kelantan’s Shariah Criminal Enactment was drafted in 1993, before Pakatan was formed so it is an exception...we have to give them a fair hearing because it is not a national programme,” Anwar told a press conference here.

The former deputy prime minister noted that PR had made its position on hudud clear — that the Islamic criminal law can only be implemented if there was a consensus by all three parties.

On March 3, Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob was reported as saying that PAS was planning to propose  a Private Members’ Bill in Parliament, with hopes that it would allow the state to finally enforce hudud laws as early as next January.

In 1993, the PAS state government passed the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II, but the strict Islamic penal code has not been enforced.

Following criticism over the move, Anwar today adviced PAS to engage the PR leadership and explain its position.

Secularist DAP, who are PAS allies in PR, have strongly opposed to the implementation of hudud.

Its former national chairman Karpal Singh openly criticised the move by the PAS Kelantan government, calling the application of the Islamic penal code unconstitutional and ill-advised.

Another DAP leader, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said PAS can expect to face heavy resistance from its coalition partners if it  proposes a parliamentary motion to push for the implementation of Hudud in Kelantan.

DAP which is the second-largest party in the Dewan Rakyat with 38 MPs does not support the Kelantan government’s proposed private bill on Hudud if it is debated in Parliament, Pua added.

In Islamic jurisprudence, hudud covers crimes such as theft, robbery, adultery, rape and sodomy.  Punishments for the crimes are severe, including amputation, flogging and death by stoning.

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