Hudud is just a vote-buying exercise


(Malay Mail Online) – PAS should forget harping on the controversial hudud laws in order to win the Malay votes, and focus instead on economic management and good governance, DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng said today.

Rival party Umno had managed to win votes even when it opposed hudud, and PAS should be able to do the same without relying on the Islamic penal law, he said.

“If Umno can win elections and Malay votes without campaigning on implementing hudud laws, PAS can do the same,” Lim said in a statement.

“Focus on issues of livelihood, economic, employment and educational opportunities will determine who wins the next general elections.”

Lim said Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had even declared on September 25, 2011 that it will not enforce hudud in the country, but Umno still won more seats and Muslim votes in the May polls last year.

Najib had said that there were already elements of hudud in the present legal system “minus the extreme part”, Lim said.

However, Lim said that Najib has now done a U-turn by publicly praising PAS’ proposal to implement hudud and stating his readiness to meet PAS leaders to discuss the issue.

“Clearly Umno has no principles and is now supporting the implementation of hudud to set up a devious political trap for PAS, that pits PAS against DAP with the sole intention of breaking up PR,” Lim said, referring to the opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat.

Lim also reminded PAS that PR had made advances in the 2008 general elections due to Umno’s failure in economic management and good governance which had allegedly led to corruption and abuses of power.

Last week, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang told PAS that the controversial Islamic penal law has never helped the Islamist party win support.

Instead, he painted scenarios in which PAS’ insistence on the Islamic Penal Code would have alienated non-Malay support for a meagre increase in Malay votes, with possibly disastrous consequence for the PR coalition.

Kit Siang noted that hudud had failed to help PAS retain Terengganu that it held only for a single term, asserting that it was voter discontent with Barisan Nasional (BN) that allowed the party to seize power in the state in 1999.

Former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad repeatedly claimed this week that hudud is being reconsidered by its proponents to win votes instead of trying to administer justice.

In the 2013 general elections, PR won 89 seats in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat against BN’s 133.

It also won 51 per cent of the popular vote while BN received just under 47 per cent.