Show us your hudud Bill Sunday, Anwar tells PAS

Anwar Ibrahim

(Malay Mail Online) – The highly-anticipated Pakatan Rakyat leadership council meeting this Sunday would be the best time for PAS to explain its plan to table a private member’s bill in Parliament seeking approval for hudud implementation in Kelantan, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The PKR de facto leader said they have not even seen either the bill or the Syariah Criminal Code II 1993, which was passed by the Kelantan state assembly over 20 years ago.

“We have already asked the state government and PAS’ central leadership, so that when it is completed we can (see the documents).

“The best time would be this coming meeting,” he said at a news conference here.

National news wire Bernama reported yesterday Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah saying the state intends to table a private member’s bill at the next parliamentary meeting in March to allow hudud to be enforced there.

According to Amar, among the things sought through the bill are raising the penalties for offences in line with Quranic rules and the Sunnah or the way of the Prophet.

Anwar today assured that both PAS and DAP — which have long disagreed on hudud implementation — would have enough room to air their opinions on the matter when they meet on Sunday.

He, however, sidestepped a question on PKR’s position on the matter, saying instead that they will remain focussed on post-flood relief efforts for Kelantan.

“They have rights. As we know, some agree and some don’t, but there is space in the Pakatan leadership council as agreed to in 2010. We cannot deny PAS’ right to table (the bill) nor DAP’s position against it.

“But at this point, we don’t know what is to be presented and what is being opposed… we need to study this first,” he said.

Anwar stressed that this Sunday’s meeting is also important as the three coalition partners need to deal with the perception of increasingly acrimonious relations between PAS and DAP.

He said the recurring spats within PR would have left a bad impression on the public and needs to be dealt with by the coalition’s top leadership.

DAP and PAS have been butting heads over the secular party’s proposal for PR to adopt Penang’s approach and enact state laws in Selangor and Kelantan to try to return the third vote to Malaysians.

PAS, however, accused DAP of acting unilaterally in seeking to restore local council elections, in apparent retaliation the latter’s vehement attacks over the Islamist party’s hudud ambition.

Local council elections were suspended in 1965 because of the Indonesian Confrontation and then-prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman promised the Dewan Rakyat that the third vote would be restored once the Confrontation was over.

They were never brought back; Parliament subsequently passed a law in 1976 abolishing local elections.