PETALING JAYA, April 17 — A federal minister blasted Perkasa member Datuk Zulkifli Noordin on Twitter today for celebrating Karpal Singh’s death as a major victory in the fight to implement hudud, the strongest censure yet to come from a government leader.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin openly told Zulkifli to “shut up” on the microblogging site immediately after the former Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Shah Alam said “Allah has killed off Karpal who was the major opponent of its implementation”.
“Shut up. Really, just shut up,” the Rembau MP wrote, using his Twitter handle @Khairykj.
Khairy later said he never approved of BN’s selection of Zulkifli to contest the 2013 general election after one of his Twitter followers highlighted the fact.
“I disagreed strongly with his candidacy for BN. We don’t need people like him,” he said, replying to Twitter user @ShaiBhar.
Khairy, who is one of the government’s leading progressive posterboys, has in the past expressed disdain over the ruling coalition’s decision to align itself with right wing groups like Perkasa.
The minister could not be reached for comments.
As Malaysians mourned Karpal’s tragic passing this morning, Zulkifli said the lawmaker’s death 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!)” wrote Zulkifli.
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.
After earning criticism for his remarks, 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.
*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.