Kelantan says PAS leaders not told of sitting, but ‘definitely know’ of hudud plan


(Malay Mail Online) – The Kelantan government said it may have neglected to inform the PAS central leadership of the special assembly sitting next week, but insisted they were already privy to the changes planned for the state’s hudud Islamic penal law.

Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah denied a PAS MP’s claim that the party’s central committee was not informed of the arrangement, saying the leaders were notified of the intention several times in the past.

“Maybe they were not informed about the sitting officially, but as far as I know they already know about our plans to make the amendments,” Amar told Malay Mail Online.

The deputy MB did not state when the official notice was issued about the proposed amendments or the sitting, only reiterating that it was already conveyed through several meetings.

“Maybe there was a miscommunication. I am not really sure but they definitely know what we want to do”.

Amar also denied allegations that the Kelantan government was acting unilaterally on the matter, saying that the PAS central leadership is always informed of all the administration’s moves.

According to central committee member Khalid Samad on Monday, the central leadership was told about Kelantan’s move to hold the sitting and that the news came as a surprise to them.

He further said the matter was not discussed in the committee meeting on the topic that was held on December 15.

The meeting took place a day before Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob announced the special sitting on December 29 to amend its Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II.

The amendment is said to pave the way for a private member’s bill in Parliament to enable the state to enforce the Islamic penal code, but PAS information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar denied this by saying the changes were merely updates as the enactment was passed over 20 years ago.

PAS is facing heavy fire from secular partner the DAP for its insistence on wanting hudud in Kelantan, a controversial move the latter say could be the “last straw” to break the young opposition coalition.

Despite “agreeing to disagree”, bickering between PAS and the DAP resurfaced after Yakob announced the special Kelantan assembly sitting.

DAP leaders like Lim Kit Siang and Tony Pua have both accused PAS of acting unilaterally and ignoring the spirit of co-operation between the three component parties as embodied in its common policy framework, which excludes any plan on hudud.

While some analysts believe PR could survive the hudud ordeal, others believe PAS and DAP’s opposing stands on the matter suggest an irreconcilable difference that may boil to the surface should PR wrest federal power.

They noted that both parties are held together now by the shared goal of unseating the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), but said the antithetical ideologies of the secularist DAP and Islamic PAS may find it hard to co-exist once their common foe is eliminated.

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.