Anwar: Problems aplenty in PAS plan for hudud in Kelantan


(Malay Mail Online) – PAS’s bid to implement Islamic penal law in Kelantan is full of obstacles including constitutional safeguards that prevent it from doing so, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The PKR de facto leader admitted, however, that he was unaware of the details in PAS’s plan to table two private members’ Bills to allow it to roll out hudud, saying he has asked the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) secretariat for details on the matter.

“There are a lot of problems, it would need amendments to the Federal Constitution. (Currently, the) laws have no powers to be enforced,” Anwar told reporters when met at the High Court here.

“I will have to see the Bills and deliberate on it. We’ll have to look at it,” he added.

But the opposition leader also stressed that he respects PAS’s right in wanting to introduce hudud law in Kelantan.

Kelantan yesterday said it will convene a special sitting of the state assembly to fine-tune two private members’ bills that PAS lawmakers plan to introduce in Parliament ostensibly to allow the state to enforce the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II, or hudud, passed in 1993.

The announcement came the same day as DAP resolved unanimously during it annual assembly to reject the implementation of hudud, insisting it was never part of the tripartite PR pact’s common policy framework.

DAP has consistently rejected hudud and repeatedly demanded that PAS shelve its plans in Kelantan, even warning of an imminent break-up of the pact if the Islamist party insists on implementing Islamic penal law in Kelantan.

Facing resistance from its allies, PAS has found support in rivals Umno, whose lawmakers and leaders are openly backing the Islamist party’s ambitions.

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.