No hudud in Kelantan until Pakatan sees draft bills, PAS told

PKR leaders led by Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim (centre) talk to the press at the Pakatan Rakyat Council meeting at the PAS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, February 8, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May
PKR leaders led by Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim (centre) talk to the press at the Pakatan Rakyat Council meeting at the PAS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, February 8, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — The PAS leadership has been issued an ultimatum — it cannot take one step further to achieve its hudud ambition in Kelantan without first presenting all draft bills on the Islamic penal code to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) presidential council.

According to sources from the federal opposition pact, the bills, which include PAS’s proposed amendments to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II 1993 and its private members’ bills for Parliament, are to be presented to PR within a month.

The decision, which was agreed on during yesterday’s PR presidential council meeting, was made even as Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah reportedly said last Wednesday that PAS aims to table the amendments and two private member’s bills in the Kelantan state legislative assembly and Parliament respectively in March.

“There is no further action until we see the draft of the amendment of the Syariah Criminal Code that was passed in 1993,” a PR leader, who requested anonymity, told Malay Mail Online.

“Secondly, the enactment of the Criminal Code [originally] includes a clause — there is a choice when it comes to non-Muslims; they can choose between Islamic law and civil law.

“Now, they want to amend it so that it strictly applies to Muslims. The rest of it, they didn't reveal to us. But we agreed they'd submit it to us,” he added.

The decision at the PR presidential council meeting — which saw PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s attendance — marks a small breakthrough as the Kelantan government had earlier refused to disclose the documents on the proposed amendments to the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II to PR component parties PKR and the DAP.

The DAP has staunchly opposed PAS’s plans to implement an Islamic criminal justice system in Kelantan and has repeatedly demanded that the party shelve its plans, with its leaders even warning of an imminent break-up of the PR alliance if the Islamist party refuses to back down.

PR’s fate is especially precarious now with the possibility of de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim going to jail if the Federal Court decides tomorrow to uphold the Court of Appeal’s conviction and five-year imprisonment sentence in his Sodomy II case.

Mohd Amar, who also attended yesterday’s PR presidential council meeting, confirmed with Malay Mail Online that the amendments to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II 1993 will be shown to the PR presidential council before the private member’s bills — which are needed to pave way for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan — are tabled in Parliament.

The Kelantan deputy MB stressed, however, that Kelantan will proceed with tabling the amendments to the Shariah criminal law in the state legislative assembly on March 16, even if PR’s top leaders have yet to view the draft by then.

“We will table the amendments as planned in DUN,” said Mohd Amar, using the Malay acronym for the state legislative assembly.

He also confirmed that the amendments to the Kelantan hudud enactment remove the provision on allowing non-Muslims to choose to follow the Islamic law.

In 1993, the PAS state government passed the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II, allowing it to impose the strict Islamic penal code in the state, but the laws have not been implemented yet.

Another PR source said he believed that PAS would not be able to table the private member’s bills in time for the March parliamentary session as they would have to be submitted before Thursday.

One of the private member’s bills seeks approval for punishments including whipping, stoning and amputation, while the other seeks to empower Shariah courts to mete out the sentences.

A third source said it was “very clear” that the PR top leadership was to view the amendments to Kelantan’s hudud law first before they could be debated in the Kelantan legislative assembly, or before the private member’s bills are tabled in Parliament.

“Commitment to Common Policy Framework reiterated. Consensus needed,” he told Malay Mail Online.

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