KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Barisan Nasional (BN) will not officially support PAS’s push for hudud but its members can do so of their own volition, the ruling coalition’s chief whip said.
Malay-language daily Sinar Harian reported today that BN’s chief whip Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said the party will not issue a directive in support of the Islamic penal code but added that BN members can support the bill based on their own convictions.
“I think there is no problem for an Umno member (to support hudud),” Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.
“Conscience includes taking into account what is best for the public and not what is best for oneself because you represent the people,” he added.
Sharir insisted, however, that what was more important was for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to garner support within its own ranks instead of looking to other parties.
“What is important now is the support from parties in PR towards PAS’s intentions. When they are ready to state their stand and support, that is when Umno will give a response,” he said.
On March 19, the Kelantan state assembly approved the Shariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment with 31 votes from PAS lawmakers supported by 12 from Umno.
PAS is now seeking to debate two private members’ bills in Parliament to enable Kelantan to enforce hudud ― one will seek approval for the state to legislate punishment for crimes under the Penal Code.
In return, DAP pilloried PAS president Hadi for his party’s hudud push, saying it will no longer work with him even as it vowed to remain in the PR pact.
The DAP’s central executive committee accused Hadi of cooperating with Umno on hudud, in violation of the pact’s common consensus and Common Policy Framework.