Pakatan’s friction over hudud among campaign issues


(Bernama) — The friction among parties in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact over the hudud law is expected to leave a deep impression on voters in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election, especially the Malays.

With over 50,000 Malay voters or 70 per cent of the total 71,820 voters in the constituency, the polemics could invite serious consequences if PAS voters, who support the implementation of hudud, feel disappointed with PKR and DAP stand on the issue.

They could express their disappointment by not voting the PKR candidate in the by-election, said a political analyst.

Universiti Utara Malaysia’s College of Law, Government and International Studies lecturer Associate Prof Dr Ahmad Martadha Mohamad said the latest development showed that Malay support for PKR was expected to decrease by around 20 per cent as compared to 45 per cent achieved during 2013 General Election.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had announced a decision to sever ties with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang after PAS insisted on going ahead with the implementation of the hudud law in Kelantan.

Lim allegedly accused Abdul Hadi of betraying PR by filing a notice of motion to the Dewan Rakyat on March 18 for the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill to implement the hudud law in the state.

Ahmad Marthada said PAS supporters and Malay ‘on-the-fence’ voters in Permatang Pauh would show their objection by either voting for the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate or not turn up on polling day.

He also expects many non-Malay voters not to turn up to vote to oppose the injustice and continuing friction among the opposition parties.

“Although the Chinese voters make up only 23 per cent (16,472) of the total voters, I expect the hardcore supporters of the opposition pact not to turn up to vote,” he told Bernama today.

Recently, the Permatang Pauh PAS division had insisted PKR retract the statement against supporting the private member’s bill on hudud if it wanted its support at the parliamentary by-election.

BN only needs an additional 12 per cent of the votes to break PKR’s domination in the constituency.

It also needs 63 per cent of the votes from Malay voters to win. In the 2013 General Election, BN only received 51 per cent of the Malay votes.

The by-election for the Permatang Pauh is being held after incumbent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lost his eligibility as MP when the Pardons Board rejected the petition for a royal pardon sought by Anwar, through his family members.

Anwar is now serving a five-year jail term after being convicted for sodomising his former personal assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The Election Commission fixed May 7 for polling day while early voting is on May 3.