Wan Azizah says hudud law still a possibility in Malaysia, but no stonings in the near future

(The Star) – The implementation of hudud law in the country is still a possibility if the Opposition captures Putrajaya in the next general election, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic).

The Opposition leader said this on Al Jazeera’s UpFront programme, which was aired on Friday.

When asked by interviewer Mehdi Hasan about her stance were she to become prime minister on ‘no hudud laws, no stonings, no amputations’, Dr Wan Azizah responded by saying that “hudud is not implemented unless all the things that are suppose to be in line of justice are there”.

When pressed further whether there would be a situation where stoning might be accepted, Dr Wan Azizah replied: “Not in the near future.”

In the interview, she also explained that as a Muslim, hudud was something that had to be accepted as it was “God’s laws” but she said the “implementation is different”.

She clarified that she was not in a “position as a ulama to talk about it”.

Mehdi also grilled Dr Wan Azizah on why she would be willing to work with a party proposing such a “horrific and extreme law”.

Mehdi appears to be referring to PAS, in which Dr Wan Azizah explained that they were no longer working with them.

She added that during the time when they were in a coalition with PAS “hudud was not a priority” as poverty eradication and education were more important issues.

At that time, she said that both parties had agreed that Islam is the religion of the Federation, and others were free to practise their respective religions in peace and harmony.

Dr Wan Azizah was also asked if she wanted nothing to do with PAS and hudud laws, to which she responded: “We want the votes of the people on the ground”.

In April, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had tabled in Parliament his Private Member’s Bill to enhance the powers of the Syariah courts.

Under the proposed amendments, punishment for syariah offences will be increased to a maximum of 30 years in jail, 100 lashes and RM100,000 fine, from the current three years, six lashes and RM5,000.

Abdul Hadi has also repeatedly given assurances that the proposed amendments were not aimed at implementing hudud law, but merely to increase the powers of the Syariah Courts in meting out stiffer penalties for offences except for the death penalty.