Nur Jazlan: Umno would have introduced hudud ‘long ago’ if it wanted to

Nur Jazlan Mohamed

(Malay Mail Online) – A moderate Umno lawmaker suggested today that PAS overtures for the party to support its bid to introduce hudud were in vain, saying the party would have implemented the Islamic penal code itself had it been a priority for the nationalist party.

Despite overt support from within the party for their Islamist rival’s plan to push through two private members’ bills to remove obstacles to the implementation of hudud in Kelantan, Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said it was not part of Umno’s plans for the country’s multi-racial society.

“If not, our forefathers would have done it a long time ago. Personally, I will not support this (implementation of hudud),” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

Conceding that it was Kelantan’s right to seek to introduce the Islamic law in the state, Nur Jazlan went on to urge PAS to also seek the views of other states to ensure consistency in country’s legal system.

“We cannot have two different sets of laws in the country. It is best to get a referendum from the other states as well,” said Nur Jazlan.

PAS previously announced plans to table two private members’ bills in Parliament to pave way for it to implement the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II it passed in 1993 that will see the Islamic penal code enforced in Kelantan.

In Islamic jurisprudence, hudud covers crimes such as theft, robbery, adultery, rape and sodomy. Punishments for the crimes are severe, including amputation, flogging and death by stoning.

With the Islamist party’s allies in Pakatan Rakyat either rejecting the bid outright or non-committal towards the move, PAS has reached out to the Malay-based Umno to support the bills.

Umno currently controls 88 of the 222 seats in Parliament, while PAS has 21 federal lawmakers.

The two parties will need just three more MPs to support the bills in order to secure a simple majority to make them law.