HUDUD: Move will have serious adverse effects


Hamzah Nazari, The Rakyat Post

IMPLEMENTING hudud in Malaysia can have serious adverse effects, says economist Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.

“We are one of the largest trading partners in the world. Trade and investment is indispensable to our social economic development and our future,” says Navaratnam.

Pointing to what has happened in Brunei, he says there seems to be a reaction to Brunei implementing Muslim laws, resulting in boycotts, which Navaratnam says could snowball.

“Tourists will find it exceedingly difficult to visit Malaysia, which will be fraught with uncertainty surrounding any kind of hudud. They will ask themselves, “How can I visit and support a country which practices hudud, which most people regard as outdated and cruel?

“Exports from Malaysia can be under stricter surveillance, scrutiny and maybe exclusion if they find that people are suffering from hudud, especially as half the world’s population are women,” says Navaratnam, adding that women are more vulnerable under hudud.

“This is not going to help Malaysia achieve its full potential as a developed, progressive, modern and moderate majority Muslim society. It will take us back to the dark ages.”

“Even Christians no longer follow the teachings in the Old Testament, which promotes the concept of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, he says.

“The days of medieval practices based on revenge, hatred and conflict are over. All religions, especially Islam, promotes peace, goodwill, brotherhood and love for their neighbours,” he says, adding that none condone practices that persecute others and subject them to injustice and cruelty by systems not relevant today.

“It will seriously jeopardise the prospects of building greater national unity in Malaysia and could well rock our very foundations for unity peace and prosperity.

“All this will lead to slower economic growth, cause poverty, migration among Muslims and non-Muslims, and growing unemployment that could lead to social instability and stifle our progress. We will never be able to get out of the middle income trap.” .

Political analyst Wong Chin Huat says there has yet to be good examples of countries with hudud that promote human rights and those of women and minorities.

“Some Muslims like to think that Saudi Arabia is a role model that provides maximum security with least policing force.

“However, most of the world would remember Saudi Arabia better as a country where women cannot even drive, or worse, where 15 schoolgirls were burnt to death because religious police stopped them from leaving a blazing building for not wearing the right attire,” he says.

Wong was referring to a 2002 case where religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing attire according to Islamic dress code.

PAS’ refusal to do a serious study on the implementation of hudud in other countries, he says, prevents Kelantan from learning of possible shortcomings, besides sending the wrong message that Kelantan is going to be like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.

“The most direct impact is that investors, tourists and expatriates may stay away from Malaysia, not just Kelantan, because most people won’t be bothered to find out the difference.