Karpal calls on PAS leaders to clear air on hudud issue

(The Star) – DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, apparently tired of the comments by Barisan Nasional on the hudud issue, wants the top PAS leadership to clear the air over the matter and the party’s Islamic state agenda.

“These issues were exploited by Barisan and MCA in particular, in 1999 and their campaign, to an extent, succeeded.

“Lim Kit Siang was defeated in Bukit Bendera and I lost the Jelutong seat.

“A lesson has to be learnt here … the Pakatan Rakyat leadership cannot sit back,” Karpal said in Air Itam, near here, yesterday.

He said PAS, an ally of DAP and PKR, must understand that the hudud objective was not in the coalition’s Buku Jingga common manifesto.

“I can assure the people that the Islamic state agenda and hudud will not be included in the Pakatan manifesto. DAP will not allow that,” said Karpal, adding that an Islamic state concept is not suitable in a multi-religious country like Malaysia.

Reacting to an accusation by Terengganu PAS Youth chief Mohd Nor Hamzah that he was outdated and a liability to Pakatan, Karpal retorted: “It is PAS’ opinion that is outdated. Hudud is not suitable for this country. PAS is outdated if it insists on implementing hudud.”

An English daily reported on Friday that Mohd Nor wanted Karpal to resign because of his outdated views, saying he had become a liability to Pakatan.

DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke had reacted by rebuking the PAS Youth official and told him not to interfere in DAP’s internal affairs and to not issue statements against its leaders.

“These issues (Islamic state agenda and hudud) are not negotiable, as far as the DAP is concerned,” said Karpal, adding that the issues should have been already resolved when PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang told the PAS muktamar last year that his party was shifting to pursuing a welfare state agenda instead.

On the prospects of DAP leaving Pakatan, Karpal said such a move would not be in the interest of all concerned.