KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — A Kelantan Umno leader has accused Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of “ignoring” Allah’s divine orders by opposing PAS’ push for hudud in Kelantan and criticising his party’s support for the Islamic penal law.
Paloh assemblyman and Kelantan opposition chief Datuk Nozula Mat Diah criticised the former prime minister for questioning the motive behind the state Umno chapter’s support for hudud, insisting that the party backed the idea in the name of Islam.
“The problem with his views is that he doesn’t see PAS’ hudud plan as something that is good. Hudud laws are Allah’s laws.
“But Dr Mahathir thinks the move to implement hudud is a political one. When he does that, it gives the impression that he is ignoring Allah’s orders,” Norzula told Malay Mail Online in a phone interview.
On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir again attacked PAS’ hudud as a political ploy, saying in his blog post that he hopes Kelantan Umno understands the repercussions of its decision to back the Islamist party’s bid to enforce the controversial Islamic law.
He told the state chapter of Umno that PAS’ hudud was concocted to gain political support, and that both the enactment and support for it were consequently un-Islamic.
When asked if it would be possible that PAS’ hudud move could be political, Norzula insisted that it was not.
“They are carrying out Allah’s orders. It is not political,” he said.
The Paloh assemblyman also said it was crucial for Umno Kelantan to support PAS in its hudud ambitions in order to cement Malay political dominance in Malaysia.
“What we are doing now is to unify the Muslims under the banner of Islam. That is why the non-Muslims are against hudud,” Norzula said.
This view was similar to that held by conservative Islamic group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), which said implementing hudud would thwart non-Muslims’ alleged attempts to wrest political power from the Malays.
Isma did not, however, provide any proof to support its claims.
Dr Mahathir is an outspoken opponent of PAS’ ambitions for hudud, and had regularly frustrated the Islamist party’s bid to enforce the Islamic penal law during his time in power; he also avoided forcing Umno to declare its support.
The Kelantan state assembly approved the Shariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment on March 19 with 31 votes from PAS lawmakers supported by 12 from Umno.
PAS also submitted a private member’s Bill to Parliament to remove the legal obstacles that prevent the enforcement of hudud in Kelantan, which requires bipartisan support from Umno and others to pass.
The Bill did not make it into the April sitting’s agenda, however, and PAS has since confirmed that the party will again seek to table it in May.