In hudud storm, Borneo BN stands divided


(MM) – Tugged into the hudud quagmire, Barisan Nasional (BN) federal lawmakers in Malaysia’s far east states have weighed in with mixed responses to Kelantan’s bid to roll out a strict Islamic penal code that has divided the country.

Some MPs in Sabah and Sarawak, whose natives form the bulk of Malaysia’s Christian population, disagree with Kelantan’s insistence on hudud while others say the PAS-led state government should be given a chance to present its proposal in Parliament ― revealing the deep wedge within the federal coalition.

“This is a multi-racial and multi-religious country. To have two systems of criminal law is not practical,” Santubong MP Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

The deputy home minister added that having two sets of criminal laws in the country would contradict each other, even though the enforcement of hudud, as proposed by PAS, would apply only to Muslim offenders.

Wan Junaidi, who is from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB), the dominant BN party in Malaysia’s largest state, said he believed that even if PAS managed to table the bill in the Dewan Rakyat, the Islamist party would not gain enough votes from the other MPs to pass its proposal into law.

The Sarawak lawmaker was not alone in his rejection of hudud.

Sabah BN MP Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh warned that if PAS was allowed to enforce hudud, it could prove a roadblock to Malaysia’s aspiration to developed nation status by 2020.

“Hudud could be a hurdle to Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Razak to achieve Vision 2020,” the Putatan MP said.

“It defeats the purpose of making Malaysia a peaceful and developed nation,” he added.

The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation vice-president maintained that Malaysians are not ready for hudud.

He added that misunderstandings could lead to misinterpretations in the enforcement of the strict Islamic law that would jeopardise the country’s fragile unity, peace and harmony.

Unlike her PBB party colleague Wan Junaidi, de facto law minister Nancy Shukri told The Malay Mail Online she saw no conflict between the Islamic penal law and the civil penal code.

The Batang Sadong MP said that while she had reservations about hudud, she believed it was possible for it to be implemented fairly in Malaysia’s multiracial and multireligious society.

However, she said her decision to vote for or against hudud would depend on the collective decision of her Sarawak party, and of BN.

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