Anwar: Address weaknesses in Syariah system before implementing hudud

anwar ibrahim

Meena Lakshana,

There are weaknesses in the present Syariah system that needs to be addressed before the Kelantan hudud law can be effectively implemented, said PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said although PAS should be allowed to articulate its position and reasons for wanting to implement hudud in Kelantan, it cannot be denied that there are concerns in the present system that must be addressed.

“In Kelantan, they have done it since 1993. So they (PAS) must be given some space to represent their case. We just cannot say no now,” he said at a press conference at the party’s headquarters.

“I will express my concerns. If I meet the Kelantan MB I will say I agree with him because as a Muslim, we do not reject the Quranic laws. But my position is, who will implement it?

“Can we guarantee the application will be just? Who is going to enforce? The police? Are you sure the police will understand it? So there are related issues here.

“I want to extend the discussion that if hudud is part of the Syariah, then the issue of accountability, good governance, justice must be discussed together within that context.

“Because otherwise, the application of laws within a corrupt system and – what I used to see in my Abim (Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement) days – unjust administration of just laws, is not acceptable,” he added.

Anwar said the current Syariah court system has some weaknesses, especially the perception that it is gender biased.

“When I was deputy prime minister, I remember there was a delegation by women’s groups. Their criticism is, you go to the kadi, Syariah Court, the perception is that the court is biased, gender biased,” he said.

“Always, they say, if there is a quarrel, the court says go back la and discuss. Always. I then proposed that all kadis to be trained for one year in a diploma course on the criminal procedure code. Meaning, even at that time, we do recognise some of the limitations in the institutions,” he added.

However, Anwar said Pakatan Rakyat must come to a consensus on the implementation of hudud that requires an amendment of the constitution.