PAS and DAP agree to disagree on Hudud


(Malay Mail Online) – A PAS leader insisted today that his party “respects” DAP’s views on Hudud, but kept mum on how both parties plan on reconciling their differences over the thorny issue.

When met on the sidelines of DAP’s 2014 national convention here, PAS central committee member Dr Hatta Ramli said his party will only express its views on the matter during its own meeting.

“I have no comments. We will state our stand in PAS’ forum… this is the DAP’s convention,” said Dr Hatta, who is PAS’s sole representative at the DAP meet.

“We respect DAP’s leadership view on the issue,” he added to reporters.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in his opening remarks at the conference today stressed that it is crucial for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to reach a consensus on plans to implement the Islamic penal code, among other issues, if the pact wants to win over the middle ground in the next general election.

The DAP has staunchly opposed PAS’s plans to implement Hudud in Kelantan and has repeatedly demanded that the party shelve its plans, with its leaders even warning of an imminent break-up of the PR alliance if the Islamist party refuses to back down.

Hudud, however, is enshrined in PAS’ party constitution. The Kelantan PAS-led government has declared that it will push for amendments to the Federal Constitution to be able to implement the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II passed by the state assembly in 1993.

That year, the then-PAS government has successfully tabled and passed the enactment to implement hudud but the strict Islamic penal code has not been enforced due to conflicts with the Federal Constitution.

Kelantan formed a hudud technical committee after the state government announced in April that it is gearing up present two private member’s bills to Parliament, hoping to remove all obstacles to its implementation of the hudud law in Kelantan by 2015.

But PAS is facing unyielding resistance from both its PR partners PKR and DAP, and has said it hopes to get the necessary votes from Umno MPs in order to get the bill approved.

The Islamist party will need a simple majority of 112 votes to push for the intended constitutional amendment.

In Islamic jurisprudence, hudud covers crimes such as theft, robbery, adultery, rape and sodomy.

Punishments for the crimes are severe, including amputation, flogging and death by stoning.

Malay-Muslim activists in support of the idea have argued the enforcement of hudud is in line Article 3 in the Federal Constitution, which states that Islam is the religion of the federation.

Opponents, however, argue that hudud cannot be carried out in Malaysia as Islamic law is applicable only on Muslims and if enforced, would run counter to other fundamental provisions in the constitution, namely Article 8, which prescribes equality before the law for all, regardless of their religious beliefs.