PAS: Hudud tabling to go on next month as planned

Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah

(Malay Mail Online) – PAS will proceed with tabling its planned amendments to Kelantan’s hudud law at the state assembly meeting next month, despite it coinciding with the campaign period for the Chempaka by-election.

English daily New Straits Times quoted Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah as saying that the Election Commission should have considered the agenda of the state government’s meeting before setting a date for the by-election, but added that the state will proceed with the tabling as planned.

“It is disappointing that the EC decided to set the date for the nomination on March 10 and polling on March 22 without considering the major event in the state,” Amar said.

“However, we will face it. We will continue with the plan (to table the amendment),” he added.

The state assembly meeting is scheduled to go on from March 16 to March 18.

Several PAS members, including party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and deputy spiritual adviser Datuk Haron Din, have insisted that the late Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat would have wanted the controversial Islamic penal code to be implemented.

Nik Aziz was 84 years old when he passed away due to prostate cancer, which worsened following the recent floods. The passing of the Chempaka state assemblyman has triggered a by-election there which will take place on March 22.

Amar also reminded PAS’ Pakatan Rakyat partner DAP to stop opposing his party’s intention to implement hudud as it has been their agenda from the very beginning.

“We have been fighting for hudud since the very beginning, just as it was affirmed by PAS President and the late Tok Guru (Nik Aziz) who always said PAS’ goal was to implement hudud,” he said to Malay daily Utusan.

The Kelantan government’s efforts to push for hudud law in the east coast state has upset DAP, with the secular party’s leaders warning of an imminent break-up of the PR alliance if PAS goes through with implementing the Islamist penal code.

PAS cleric wing deputy chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed also denied allegations by made DAP’s Lim Kit Siang that the former was rushing into the implementation of hudud, adding that it was already extensively discussed and an integral part of the party’s ideologies.

“In a democracy, he (Lim) has the right to say whatever he wants, but don’t think PAS is like a school kid. The basis of DAP is secular socialism but the basis of PAS is Islam.

“If he says don’t implement hudud law hastily, that’s not right, we’ve discussed hudud law from Kelantan to Kuala Lumpur,” Mahfodz was quoted saying to Utusan.

Mahfodz added Lim clearly did not know about PAS’ development as hudud had been discussed by the party since 1993.

“After what PAS has done, he wants to say that hudud law was done hastily, this means he doesn’t know the latest development of PAS,” he said.

Hudud law has been one of the most contentious issues within the PR coalition from its formation in 2008, with PAS calling for its implementation, DAP vehemently opposing it, and PKR seemingly ambivalent to it.

For many years, tensions have risen in PAS between the party’s ulama wing of Islamic scholars, and its “professional wing” consisting of more moderate members, including Khalid.

More recently there have also been tensions within PAS between a more pro-Umno wing which flirts with an alliance with the ruling party and PasMa — Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia — consisting of PAS members who want to strengthen ties with its Pakatan partners and reject the Umno.

PR’s three partners DAP, PAS and PKR are due to deliberate on PAS’ hudud plans soon, having recently postponed the discussion pending Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case.

At the pact’s last presidential council meeting before Anwar’s jailing, the Opposition Leader reportedly told PAS to present its hudud draft Bills to PR member parties.