KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 ― Wanita MCA told the PAS-led Kelantan government today to focus all attention on helping flood victims instead of fixating on next week's special hudud assembly sitting, as evacuee numbers continue to climb along with floodwaters in the state.
Party wing chief Heng Seai Kie accused the state of ignoring the needs of its own people by obsessing over plans to implement the controversial Islamic penal code in Kelantan.
“Kelantan state is enduring its worst flood disaster with 26,137 Kelantan residents evacuated as of 24 December 2014, yet the Kelantan state government remains obsessed solely on implementing hudud law, in total neglect of the severity of the situation and the flood victims’ difficulties,” she said in a statement here.
She said Kelantan Mentri Besar Ahmad Yakob has “insisted” that the state proceed with plans to hold the sitting, which expects to pass amendments to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993 on hudud.
The move is in preparation for PAS’s plan to table in Parliament a private member’s bill to amend the Federal Constitution, which would subsequently allow Kelantan to implement hudud law in the state.
In such a difficult time, the state government should be pulling out all the stops to boost disaster relief efforts, Heng said, pointing out that thousands have already been forced to abandon their homes for evacuation centers.
She said that after over two decades under PAS rule, Kelantan has continued to trail behind as one of Malaysia's poorest states.
The Islamist party, she added, “does not care” that Kelantan has lagged behind in development as it is more concerned with policing the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims.
As examples, Heng cited the state's mandatory gender rules and the ban against licensed games betting.
“Such regulations have driven tourists and foreign investments away from Kelantan, thereby severely affecting the economy of the state and the livelihood of ordinary Kelantan folks,” she said.
“People have had enough with the Kelantan PAS government’s extremist measures.
“The Kelantan PAS government remains trapped in the abyss of time, where despite the
huge number of evacuees, much of the state resources is aimed at implementing hudud law, while completely refusing its responsibility to the people by ignoring providing crisis relief,” Heng added.
Yesterday, Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah conceded that the chronic flooding in the state could force the government to reschedule the special hudud assembly sitting.
The Panchor assemblyman noted that most areas in Kota Baru, the state's capital, are hit by floods but said the situation is still manageable compared to other districts in Kelantan.
“We have to wait and see first,” Mohd Amar told Malay Mail Online when asked if the Kelantan government was planning to delay the sitting due to the worsening flood situation.
“We still have three days to the sitting,” he added.
On Wednesday, the son of PAS’s spiritual leader suggested that the worsening floods in Kelantan was a sign of “Allah’s wrath” and that the state government must continue with its bid to enforce hudud amid strong opposition.
Pasir Mas MP Nik Mohamad Abduh, the son of revered PAS leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, wrote on his Facebook page that the floods were intended to remind Muslims to return to Allah’s path, and necessity in implementing the Islamic penal code in the state.
Tens of thousands in Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis and Pahang have had to be evacuated from their homes due to floods in various districts, Bernama reported yesterday at noon.
In Kelantan, 20,709 victims from 6,795 families in eight districts were evacuated compared to 20,468 people Tuesday morning, while the number of flood relief centres increased to 84 from 70.
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.