Take your hudud arguments to Parliament, PAS tells DAP


(Malay Mail Online) – DAP lawmakers opposed to hudud can raise their frustrations in Parliament when PAS moves its two private members’ Bills, a leader from the Islamist party said today as the squabble between the two Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners continue unabated.

Repeating his party’s position on the matter, Datuk Mahfuz Omar insisted that PAS is showing respect for the democratic system by taking hudud to the Dewan Rakyat as well as the Kelantan state assembly.

The PAS information chief disagreed with the DAP MP Gobind Singh Deo’s claim that the party risks ostracising itself from its PR partners by pushing ahead with plans to implement hudud despite not receiving a nod from the pact’s presidential council.

“He reportedly said that PAS is no longer seen as part of PR should the Kelantan government under PAS proceeds with plans to debate amendments to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment II 1993 at the March 18 state assembly,” Mahfuz said, referring to two statements issued recently by Gobind.

“I’d like to remind Gobind that the enactment to be amended has existed for more than 20 years, long before PR’s birth.

“The amendments proposed are only to improve on and repair the said law, particularly on certain technical aspects. It still cannot be enforced without the permission and the amendments of laws within Parliament,” he pointed out.

The Bills to be tabled in Parliament should not be confused with the amendments proposed to Kelantan’s enactment governing hudud, a controversial Islamic penal code that prescribes amputation as punishment for crimes like stealing, Mahfuz said.

Maintaining that PAS is using democratic means to push for the implementation of hudud, the PAS MP then told Gobind and other DAP lawmakers opposed to the law to debate the matter in Parliament.

“Use that same democratic space to state your position and those of the other DAP MPs, instead of talking about the positions of each party within PR,” he said.

“PAS and the Kelantan government will heed Parliament’s decision, regardless which way it goes,” he added.

Mahfuz said his party also respects the decision made by the PR presidential council during its last meeting on February 8 and will present its draft Bills on the hudud law at the next leadership meet.

He urged the pact’s leaders to schedule a meeting soon.

Although PAS has yet to receive a formal nod from its PR partners PKR and DAP, its leaders have insisted on tabling amendments to Kelantan’s state law on hudud during the next legislative assembly sitting on March 18.

DAP leaders, including Gobind, have insisted that PAS will risk ostracisation by PR if it proceeds with the controversial plan as hudud was never included in the pact’s common policy framework.

But on Monday, Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah reportedly disagreed with the DAP’s assertions, pointing out that the state enactment on hudud was passed back in 1993, even before PR’s existence.