Despite all that said and done about the hudud law, PAS is still bent on creating an Islamic state.
As fas as PAS spiritual guru Nik Abdul Aziz ik Mat is concerned, his plans to implement hudud law in Kelantan is very much alive.
This is despite him not seeing eye to eye on the hudud issue with his Pakatan colleagues. DAP chairman Karpal Singh has made it clear that DAP would spare no efforts to thwart the implementation of hudud law in Malaysia.
“From the very beginning, DAP has also made known its opposition against any attempts by PAS and others to turn the country into an Islamic state.
“Let me make it very clear: hudud is not in line with the Federal Constitution and therefore it is unconstitutional,” Karpal told FMT when commenting on the outcome of the Sept 28 meeting involving the Pakatan Rakyat top brass to discuss the hudud issue.
Hudud as practised in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is the Islamic penal code that prescribes punishments such as stoning adulterers to death and amputating the hands of thieves.
PAS, which has been ruling Kelantan since 1990, had in fact passed the hudud laws but they were never enforced as the federal government had deemed it unconstitutional and threatened legal action if Kelantan ever enforced it.
Eventhough PAS leaders were adamant (about implementing Islamic laws), DAP said Karpal was equally firm in its opposition.
“You can’t have Islamic laws in a secular state; it’s as simple as that,” said Karpal.
He pointed out that the Supreme Court led by the then Lord President Mohamed Salleh Abas had declared that the country was a secular state in a landmark decision on a case in 1988.
A closed chaper for DAP
DAP is firm that it will not be brow-beaten into changing its stand on the hudud law.
As far as DAP is concerned, the hudud issue is a closed chapter. But not so for Nik Aziz. The spiritual adviser of PAS has concluded that the Sept 28 meeting has made it clear that the opposition coalition of Pakatan Rakyat respects Kelantan’s desire to incorporate the hudud law in its syariah law.
The only obstacle as Nik Aziz sees it is the federal government supported by Umno.
DAP votes a “No” to hudud but Nik Aziz says he is willing to wait until a consent is reached on this matter.
PAS is still tied to the policies it agreed to share with Pakatan in the Orange Book (Buku Jingga) apart from the provisions in the Federal Constitution.
Is there some sort of confusion that is shrouding Nik Aziz’s thinking, because Karpal has set the record straight by saying hudud was unconstitutional and is not welcomed in any part of Malaysia, with Kelantan being no exception?
So, how did Nik Aziz, an 80-year-old seasoned politician, reason that his Pakatan colleagues respect his intention to implement the hudud laws? Was a “politically correct” message relayed to this spiritial guru instead of the blunt reality, which is that DAP is all willing to wage a war against PAS should Kelantan proceed with its hudud law plans?
Nik Aziz is optimistic that the hudud law will someday take shape in Kelantan. Where is this optimism coming from?
When Pakatan adviser Anwar Ibrahim on Sept 22 remarked that he supported the hudud law, that took the issue of the hudud law back to square one.
“For now, in general, in principle, I believe this can be implemented,” Anwar had told reporters.
“It is a specific area that affects Muslims and does not impeach the rights of non-Muslims. The proceeding makes sure that the administration of justice is guaranteed,” he was quoted as saying by a local online media.
Playing the devil’s advocate
In an immediate reaction to Anwar’s initial comment on hudud, Karpal said: “The punishments for these offences are flogging 100 times for intercourse between an unmarried couple, stoning to death for adultery, amputation of hand for theft, death for apostasy, flogging 40 times for alcohol consumption, flogging 80 times for false accusation of adultery and death by sword or crucifixion for highway robbery.”
A day later, Anwar made an about-turn and said his comment on hudud was made in his personal capacity and had no relation to Pakatan.
It does look like Nik Aziz is not about to go to his grave without first putting in place the hudud law. The “call a spade a spade” religious apostle has a very clear vision of the hudud taking shape in Kelantan. His adversaries, as they will always remain, are the federal government of Barisan Nasional and the DAP.
Umno, taking advantage of this messy situation, played the devil’s advocate, belittling PAS by accusing it of neglecting its Islamic agenda and pandering to its non-Muslim Pakatan Rakyat partners.
Making matters worse was former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent challenge to Nik Aziz to go ahead and implement the hudud law.
In the face of all this, it is best that all differing thoughts on the hudud law where Pakatan and PAS are concerned are buried for good. For should the differences in opinion persist, the price Pakatan would eventually end up paying is going to be great, keeping in mind the coming general election and Pakatan’s vision to call the shots from Putrajaya, the nation’s administrative hub.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has adopted the “silence is golden” move on the hudud issue. But his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin said Umno supported hudud laws in principle.
“In the context of a multiracial and multi-religious society, we should spread that knowledge (of hudud laws) widely before we can reach a stage where we think it’s time, but I don’t believe we’re there yet,” Muhyiddin was quoted by an online news website as saying.