PAS told to present hudud draft during Pakatan pow wow, Anwar reveals

Anwar Ibrahim

(Malay Mail Online) – The PAS leadership was urged at the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) presidential council meeting today to present its draft on hudud to the pact’s member parties, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim revealed this evening.

The PR de facto chief, in apparent defence of PR’s failure to delve deeper into disputes affecting the pact’s unity during the afternoon meeting, said the thorny hudud subject could not be deliberated on without the draft of Kelantan’s planned amendments to the state’s enactment on hudud.

“We did not discuss it earlier because the draft was not available. We said, let us see the draft,” he told reporters at an event here after the PR meeting.

Asked to explain why PR did not discuss the spat between DAP and PAS over the “third vote” issue, Anwar said the matter will be raised during the pact’s next planned meeting.

He stressed that this afternoon’s council meeting had gone on as planned and that leaders agreed to hold another session at a later date to talk about hudud and the “third vote”.

Earlier today, PR leaders huddled for the their first presidential council meeting in more than six months and were expected to thrash out a number of key disputes that have been threatening the pact’s unity over the past few months.

But despite a full attendance, the meeting ended in just over an hour with Anwar emerging to say that more meetings will be scheduled after his Sodomy II case next week at the Federal Court.

“All three parties expressed their commitment to Pakatan Rakyat’s struggle, as per the Pakatan Rakyat common platform,” he told a press conference later.

The PR de facto leader said PR decided to hold a “special meeting” to resolve the hudud and local council election issues, which have seen public spats between the DAP and PAS.

The “special meeting” comes even as Kelantan reportedly plans to table private members’ bills on the Islamic penal code in Parliament next month.

The date of the “special meeting” was not revealed today, however.

Anwar also said PR has decided to organise a convention on May 10 to renew public support.

The opposition leader said Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah was present at the meeting today, which was also attended by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, to explain the Syariah Criminal Code II Enactment 1993 in which Kelantan plans to table amendments in its state assembly sitting next month.

Anwar, however, did not elaborate on Amar’s explanations on the controversial hudud law.

DAP and PAS have been locking horns over the Islamist party’s plans to enforce hudud in Kelantan and more recently, DAP’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, has accused the DAP of acting unilaterally in seeking to restore local council elections, in apparent retaliation to the latter’s vehement attacks over the Islamist party’s hudud ambition.