Hudud delay a way out for PAS and Umno?


(TMI) – PAS’s decision to shelve its proposed Islamic criminal law, or hudud, is to all intents and purposes a way out of a political quagmire for the Islamist party and rival Umno, both of whom have been caught in a maelstrom of protests from their non-Muslim allies, say politicians and analysts.

Even as one political analyst described it as a face-saving measure for PAS, the DAP, who has all along opposed its ally’s hudud plans, cautioned that the thorny issue would still require the green light from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership council in the future if any attempt was made to introduce it in Parliament.

Umno MPs, meanwhile, have asserted that the Islamic penal code cannot go ahead even though the Malay party, which is the lynchpin of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition (BN), holds majority seats in Parliament.

With 88 MPs, Umno could team up with PAS, which has 21 MPs, to push through the Islamist party’s private member’s bills in the 222-seat Parliament to pave the way for the Islamist party to implement hudud law in Kelantan.

However, Umno MPs said they would adhere to BN’s way of achieving consensus on important issues, and that the infrastructure and awareness were not in place for the Islamic law to be introduced in Malaysia.

While agreeing that PAS postponing the bills was a positive development, DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said this episode proved that such sensitive issues needed to get the nod from the top PR leaders.

“Even though the bills will no longer be tabled, the issue of hudud has to be discussed within Pakatan’s framework and we insist that any future plans on the matter have to have the consent of the Pakatan leadership council.