Karpal calls on Hadi to announce PAS’ stand on gender segregation issue

(Bernama) – DAP chairman Karpal Singh has called on PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to publicly make the party’s stand on the by-law on gender segregation issue, and not to leave the matter to the Kelantan exco.

Karpal, who is Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament, said the silence by the Kelantan exco to review the by-law on gender segregation that forbids non-Muslim women to cut hair of non-Muslim men, and vice versa in salons in Kota Baru did not speak well of a responsible government.

“PAS leaders should realise that silence is not the way out and it only aggravates the position. The by-law should be outlawed without further ado,” he said in a statement here Tuesday.

Karpal said the justification on enforcement of the gender segregation made by the Kota Baru Municipal Council was publicly announced by the State Local Government, Cultural and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan on Nov 24.

“To him (Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan) the ruling was a non-issue and he said the by-law was introduced in 1991 in line with the PAS state government’s slogan ‘Growing with Islam’ that applied to both Muslims and non-Muslims, and in 1999, stricter conditions were imposed by the council,” he added.

However, Karpal said the justification certainly evoked fear on the part of non-Muslims that attempts were being made to apply Islamic law to them, which would ultimately mean the introduction of hudud to non-Muslims.

He said the vehement public justification by Takiyuddin of the by-law was obviously the cause of the silence on the part of the Kelantan state exco to review it.

“The last that the DAP would want to do would be not to scuttle efforts by the opposition pact in its quest to capture Putrajaya in the coming election,” Karpal said.

“However, that the objective cannot, and must not, mean sacrificing principle at the altar of political expediency. The DAP is committed to opposition to any attempts to extend Islamic law to non-Muslims, whether directly or indirectly,” he added.

He said PAS must respond quickly on the issue, in view of the upcoming polls.