How serious is PAS on Hudud?

World Future Online

The Party Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) using the ‘Hudud’ issue to drive a wedge within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition, this is deja-vu but what is new is what the Islamic party intends to achieve with this fresh push for Shariah laws in Malaysia.

Henceforth, there were good reasons for the Party Keadilaan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) to push for their own agenda’s during the May 1st rally – a day that did not need to be politicized to get the ‘labour’ force out on the streets.

While it is clear the PAS tried to turn the May 1st rally as evidence that its push for Hudud was accepted by a large multi-racial crowd, what is certain nevertheless is the Islamic party will not get the support of all the Pakatanlawmakers to vote in favour of the Hudud.

In 2012, the PAS reignited the controversy over the Hudud when it sought to push for its implementation if Pakatan Rakyat were to win the 13th general election.

The Hudud calls during last year’s elections did no good to the PAS and the PR, when the Islamic party failed to garner more votes and seats while the DAP benefited from the alliance with the PKR and the PAS.

The PAS has a long history of failed alliances, wrong electoral choices and has always felt the need to prove its authenticity as an Islamic party instead of behaving like a true national political organization that will defend the rights of all Malaysians.

In 2012, the PAS faced the outright rejection of its Hudud ideas by both the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and its Pakatan coalition partners, on the basis that Malaysia was not ready for the implementation ofHudud.

The same arguments were used this time around by Malaysian Prime Minister who insisted his party or government did not reject the idea ofHudud, but the country was not ready for it.

Similar to 2012, the PAS leaders are now commenting on Hudud or Shariah laws – understood by non-Muslims and Muslims of lesser knowledge as criminal laws – insisting it should be implemented as they apparently gained support from a fringe of the Umno leadership in 2014.

This support from a section of the Umno has caused some serious jittery comments from the Pakatan leadership, particularly within the DAP faction, with Lim Kit Siang ‘predicting’ a break-up of the PR and a possible return to the pre-2008 state of affairs with the revival of the Barisan Alternatif (BA).

However, with the PR certainly in disarray over the Hudud, will the PAS turn to the Barisan National (BN) to get the Hudud law approved by the national legislature of Malaysia?

The passing of DAP’s staunch anti-Hudud campaigner Karpal Singh, will not dampen the PAS move for the Hudud but it is PAS hesitations itself that risk killing this fresh episode of procrastination by the Islamists – both within the PAS and the Umno.

DAP’s antagonism towards the Hudud, represented by the fiery KarpalSingh, is also dampened by the Lim Kit Siang’s earlier call for a ‘gag order’ within the PR over the thorny issue, not withstanding the fact that Lim wishes to see a revived BA from which the opposition triumvirate could still battle the BN.

What would kill the Hudud move, in the end, besides the lack of honest desire by the PAS as an ‘Islamic’ party to vote for the implementation of theHudud in Kelantan will be the Umno’s own division over the issue.

Added with the PKR’s own divisions over the Hudud, where not all the Muslim MP’s would want to see themselves embroiled into the controversy the party could opt for a free for all to decide on the issue – if the Hudud was to be voted by the August national legislative Parliament in Kuala Lumpur.