Barisan Nasional leaders want Pakatan Rakyat to state its stand clearly over the implementation of hudud laws in the country.
PETALING JAYA: A Barisan Nasional minister today mocked Pakatan Rakyat over the proposed implementation of hudud laws, while other BN leaders urged the opposition to make its stand clear.
Minister in the Prime Miniter’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said PAS should just go ahead and implement hudud laws in Kelantan if it wanted to.
“If PAS wants to do it, if it claims it can implement hudud, then what’s stopping the party (from doing it)? Just do it,” he told FMT.
“If the Quran is the constitution of PAS, then why do you need permission from mere mortals like us?” Nazri asked.
He said for the BN coalition, hudud was never an issue, adding that it was PAS which has been making the most noise about it.
“As far as I’m concerned, they (PAS leaders) are all liars; what they do is they use religion to instil fear into conservative Muslims just to get worldly benefits,” Nazri said.
He, however, declined to comment on Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s comments that hudud law was an intergral part of Islam.
Yesterday, Muhyiddin also said the country was not ready for hudud law.
Joining the fray today, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said that his party would withdraw from BN if its partner Umno considered implementing hudud law, while former president Ong Tee Keat said he was also against it.
Ong said the whole debate over hudud was mere “political posturing and rhetoric just to woo voters”.
Real acid test
“Maybe certain quarters may have in mind to really implement it, but when we ask them if that is Pakatan’s stance, there’s no answer from them,” said Ong who is the Pandan MP.
“(Opposition Leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) says he supports (hudud laws), but would he proceed further and make this the policy of Pakatan when it comes to power? That’s the real acid test,” Ong said, adding that he was speaking in his personal capacity and not on behalf of MCA.
Ong said he would “never agree to or accept such a law” being enforced, adding that it was impossible for a state to bypass federal laws.
“The proponents argue that only Muslims who break the law have reason to fear but, in my opinion, this contravenes the Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land,” he said.
Ong said that the Federal Constitution was “quite secular” in nature, although this fact is not popular to the Muslims.
“This has been accepted by all parties since independence. But due to political expediency, calls for hudud laws arose,” Ong said, adding that PAS in the 1970s never asked for it but only raised the issue in the 1980s.
MIC has also called on Pakatan to make its stand clear on the implementation of hudud law.
“It is a fundamental issue and people need to know what they are voting for in the next general election,” MIC secretary-general S Murugesan said.
“Anwar’s statement has exposed a deep chasm in the fundamentals of Pakatan… For far too long, Pakatan leaders have glossed over and side-stepped the issue.
“No longer. They better come clean and declare to their own members and to the public where they stand. Anwar can no longer eat his cake and have it too,” Murugesan said.
‘Don’t be desperate politicians’
A Gerakan Youth leader also made a similar call to Pakatan to come clean on the hudud issue.
“Should Anwar become the prime minister in future… will he implement hudud law for the whole of Malaysia?” asked Kedah Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.
Tan said people in Kedah also wanted to know whether the state would be next if Kelantan went ahead with enforcing hudud law.
Tan, who has long been against hudud law, said existing laws are already in place and hudud law is not needed.
“If there is a law that needs to be refined, then we refine it. We don’t make a total change just because you felt like it and your religion asks you to do it,” Tan said.
He urged the opposition not to be “desperate politicians” trying to make drastic changes just to suit their agenda – which was to get more supporters based on religious sentiments.
He added that Anwar was now supporting hudud as PKR is losing Malay supporters.
“I fully understand that Muslims are bound by their religion, but they must understand that Malaysia is a moderate country. Since independence, we already have a system… why do Anwar and PAS want to change it?”
Tan also urged PAS to state clearly what is the framework of the hudud laws. “You say non-Muslims won’t be affected. Can you tell us if, for example, a non-Muslim raped a Muslim, which law applies?”
Meanwhile, Koo Chin Nam, a former syariah lawyer, said that the debate over hudud laws was all “hot air” as it was clearly against the Federal Constitution.
“If you talk about Merdeka, the freedom we fought for has been hijacked if we are looking at governing Malaysia with different kinds of laws. We are going against what our founding fathers had promised and therefore, the integrity of the state is at stake now,” said Koo, who is also MCA deputy chairman of the national religious bureau.
“No political party should go against the wise words of our founding fathers. So I ask: Where is your Malaysian Malaysia now? Where is your welfare state now? Where?” said Koo.
Yesterday, Anwar said he supported Kelantan’s longstanding plans to implement hudud laws, adding that the law proposed by the PAS government protected the rights of non-Muslims.
Anwar, however, stressed that the opposition pact had not discussed the matter and this was only his “personal opinion”.
Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat also said he was prepared to see the DAP leave Pakatan if it objected to his views about implementing hudud law.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had challenged PAS to implement the law as he was no longer prime minister, but Nik Aziz said Mahathir’s prohibition was still valid and only Najib could withdraw the federal government’s objections.