It’s time to lift this veil of beguiling deceitfulness

(The Star) – PAS, hudud law and an Islamic state are the inseparable trio that, of the party’s own choosing, would simply refuse to go away.

Last year, PAS rejected any compromise on hudud law despite the DAP’s objections.

So much for consultation within Pakatan Rakyat. The issue raged heatedly, then subsided.

Earlier this year, PAS Youth said hudud was no longer a priority, after the party president’s keynote speech at the 57th Muktamar downplayed it.

Then speculation of an impending general election grew.

PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat again said hudud law would be implemented nationwide should Pakatan win the general election.

This policy volcano, until then dormant but never extinct, rumbled again. PAS would now make Kelantan an Islamic state through the syariah court system.

Conservative Islamism has returned with all its controversies fully intact, and Pakatan’s glaring discrepancies flared again.

Once more, PAS is insisting on an Islamic state despite all the objections.

This is no way to run a party alliance, let alone a multi-ethnic Malaysia with sizeable minorities.

Changing the Constitution to allow for what the world today regards as inhumane punishments, along with vastly disparate forms of legal testimony, is also disturbing.

To pretend that hudud law will not affect non-Muslims is dangerous and nonsensical fiction.

Pakatan has tried to ban entertainment during Ramadan, stop Muslim staff from working in establishments serving alcohol, planned to disrupt music concerts and seen family disputes arise after a family member had undergone religious conversion.

If these issues are trivial or merely “ghostly apparitions”, more will emerge when hudud law is implemented.

All Malaysians and even foreign visitors and businesses will be affected, to varying degrees.

Although hudud is contained in the Quran, not all Muslims are clamouring for it.

Meanwhile, PAS has demanded silence from doubters while Pakatan has imposed a gag order on the subject.

Sadly, issues of major national significance are being swept under the carpet by those demanding free speech for themselves and transparency in others.

If hudud law were so much better, it would not be so controversial or should at least be open to free enquiry and debate.

This nation’s future is too important to be left in the hands of power seekers who are fundamentally incompatible.