KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — As Malaysians mourn the loss of veteran lawmaker Karpal Singh, Perkasa member Datuk Zulkifli Noordin instead said the DAP leader’s passing removes a major obstacle towards implementing hudud or Islamic penal law in the country.
Karpal’s resistance to the implementation of hudud law has been well-documented and has often placed him at loggerheads with political allies from Islamist party PAS.
“The Kelantan PAS government wants to enforce hudud law with the help of Umno. Allah has killed off Karpal who was the major opponent of its implementation! (Dlm keadaan kemelut Krjn PAS Klntn mau mlaksanakn hudud dgn bantuan UMNO, Allah tlh mmatikn Karpal yg mnjadi pnentang utama prlaksanaannya!)” he wrote using his Twitter handle @zulkiflinoordin.
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.
Karpal had been one of the staunchest opponents to repeated attempts to introduce Islamic law in Malaysia.
One of his most iconic quotes is: “An Islamic state over my dead body”.
The former PKR Bandar Baru Kulim MP’s remark on Twitter drew immediate condemnation, with some Twitter users calling him “insensitive” and “worse than an animal.”
“Karpal Singh is the sign of political righteousness.You are sign of Political Satanism @limkitsiang @teresakok @staronline,” said MIC strategic director S. Vell Paari using his Twitter account @vellpaari.
One Twitter user, @termosrudin replied to Zulkifli saying “Allah loves the late Karpal more (Allah lebih sayangkan Allahyarham)”.
PAS is again renewing attempts to enforce the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II it passed in 1993.
On March 3, Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob was reported as saying that PAS is 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.
The late Karpal had criticised PAS’ move, calling the application of the Islamic penal code unconstitutional and ill-advised.
Following the criticism, Zulkifli posted a new tweet saying “whatever it is, the legal profession today has lost a great veteran lawyer. Karpal’s name will be a legend in history! (Apa pun profesyen guaman hari ni khilangan seorg pguam veteran yg hebat & trnama.Nama Karpal akn terus trcatat sbg satu legenda dlm sjrh!)”
Karpal was killed after the Toyota Alphard MPV he was travelling crashed following a collision with a lorry along the North-South Highway near Gopeng, Perak early this morning.
Long-time aide Michael Cornelius was also killed, while their driver is seriously injured. Karpal’s son, Ramkarpal Singh, sustained injuries.
Perkasa later contacted The Malay Mail Online to say that Zulkifl’s views were his own and did not represent those of the Malay rights group.
*A previous version of this article erroneously listed Datuk Zulkifli Noordin as Perkasa vice president. He was not re-elected to the position during the group’s annual assembly in December but remains a member.