Test out hudud on politicians and royal family first, activist suggests


Zainah Anwar suggests Sultans and members of the Royal Family deserve punishment under Hudud

Hudud law should be first tried on the country’s elites and royals, Muslim activist Zainah Anwar suggested today as a way to prove that the Islamic penal code will be applied fairly before it is introduced to the rest of Malaysia.

The director of Musawah and former Sisters in Islam chief argued the controversial hudud law is vulnerable to abuse, pointing to evidence of injustice in countries where the law is in effect.

“If you really want to implement the hudud laws, let’s do a test run and I think it should only apply to the Cabinet ministers, members of parliament, to the state assemblymen, to the mentri besars, and to the royal families.

“Let’s test on them first because you know they are not going to be prosecuted, you know it’s going to be people like you and I here,” she said at the forum entitled “What is hudud” at the MCA headquarters.

Zainah said the debate on implementing hudud is distracting the society from more important matters such as corruption, urban poverty and the goods and services tax (GST) that will be implemented next year.

She also insisted that hudud law could not be applied in Malaysia, adding that the continued push for its implementation was feeding existing “Islamophobia”.

“There is more to Islam than laws. There is more to Islamic laws than hudud.”

Others who spoke at the forum included PAS MPs Hanipa Maidin and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Fathul Bari from Umno Youth, and Islamic Renaissance Front director Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa.

In 1993, the PAS state government passed the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II, allowing it to impose the strict Islamic penal code in the state, but the laws have not been implemented yet.

PAS is now looking for parliamentary approval to implement hudud. It plans to put forward two private members’ bills in parliament. One seeks approval for punishments including whipping, stoning and amputation while the other seeks to empower Shariah courts to mete out the sentences.

In all previous attempts, PAS had been frustrated by Barisan Nasional (BN) tactics to prevent any vote by employing a “talking out” tactic where BN MPs have been allowed to speak for an extended period of time to prevent such private members’ bills from even being debated.

However, Umno leaders have now said they have no objections to the implementation of hudud and have constantly challenged PAS to try to introduce the law.

Earlier today, PAS announced that it will delay tabling the two bills.

Party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the Islamist party was agreeable to Putrajaya’s proposal for a technical committee involving both the federal and state governments to examine and provide suggestions on how best to enforce hudud in Kelantan.