Kelantan is not Brunei

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah

Hudud in Brunei is a perfect storm.

Yussof Condred

Hudud in Brunei is a perfect storm. The circumstances that made it so are as follows:

1. Brunei is an absolute sultanate. There are no elections, no political parties and the sultan has an autocratic hold on the country.

2. At  an age when one is moving closer to his Maker, the sultan must feel an imperative to do what is religiously right (and still outstanding)  by his Maker.

3. At this age, too, the sultan would have some concern about successsion. His heir should inherit a country that is easier to control. The application of the full sharia law is the answer to that.

4. The citizens are generally a contented lot because the economic foundation of the land is supported by massive oil deposits. They need not pay income tax. Education and health care are free. The middle class comprises property owners who lease these out to oil companies’ expats. Although unemployment is chronic, it has not given any serious problem so far.

5. The Hudud laws are applicable to non-Muslims. So it is seen to be fair by the local Muslims.

Kelantan, however, is vastly different.

1. It is just one of 13 states within a country that has a secular government.

2. PAS leaders have asserted that Hudud is not applicable to non-Muslims. By any universal value this is unfair, especially to the Kelantan Muslims. What is unfair cannot stand the test of time.

3. A large majority of Muslims and non-Muslims, who voted for Pas in the urban areas, are against implementation (note ‘ implementation’ only) of Hudud although they do certainly respect the Islamic religion.

4. Both the PM and the Opposition Leader have declared that we are not ready for Hudud implementation because the devil is in the implementation.

5. Dr Mahathir has cautioned Pas to consider carefully.

6. Respected people like Zaid Ibrahim, etc and NGOs like Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) and SIS have voiced their objections.