By Anisah Shukry
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has maintained that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would implement hudud for Muslims if it comes to federal power, saying today that his DAP counterpart’s objection to the Islamic penal law was simply personal opinion.
DAP national chairman Karpal Singh has called for an urgent meeting among the PR chiefs to decide “once and for all” if PAS could implement hudud law, adding that Hadi had no right to speak on behalf of the opposition pact over the issue.
But Hadi insisted today his position on hudud was unchanged, adding that he now only wished to focus on the next general election.
“My stance is the same. I have already released a statement about my opinions on hudud in Harakah, and on Facebook,” Hadi told reporters at a press conference here.
“(Karpal’s opinion) is not my business. It his own business. In PR, we all agree on the same concepts — justice, eradication of poverty, Malay special rights... Thus our parties’ stance is the same.”
Last Thursday, the New Straits Times reported Hadi as saying hudud would be implemented if PR came to power, but it would only be for Muslims, while non-Muslims would be given the option to follow the law or not.
He added, however, that if they won power in Terengganu, they would defer its implementation until unemployment and minimum wage problems there were settled.
PAS Ulama Council chief Datuk Harun Taib announced yesterday that the party would implement hudud if it is the biggest party in a ruling coalition, and said it would even form new alliances to achieve this.
“If we have enough majority, if PAS is stronger than our allies, we will implement... even if not with the current partners we have in Pakatan... maybe there will be other pacts that will lend us their support,” Harun was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
The Manir assemblyman was reported as saying that implementing hudud “is what is required by Islam.”
In September last year, the tripartite pact had agreed that while PAS could continue to campaign to implement the Islamic penal law, it would not be part of PR policy unless a consensus was reached, stepping back from the brink of a major difference that broke an earlier partnership of the same three parties a decade ago.
PAS, one of the DAP’s partners in PR, maintains the implementation of hudud as among its aspirations. The party has enacted the Islamic penal law in Kelantan and Terengganu, but this has not been enforced due to constitutional restraints.
Hudud remains a sticky issue in the coming election, with Barisan Nasional’s (BN) MCA asking DAP to state its stand on the matter. The MCA has said a vote for DAP would be support for PAS’s Islamic State ideal, although Umno is claiming the opposite and painting PAS as subservient to its partner.
With an eye on the general election, Hadi said that PAS’s annual assembly, scheduled for June, has been postponed to November. In its place, they will hold a large-scale gathering in Alor Setar to prepare members for the upcoming polls.
Hadi added the PAS central committee is leaving it to the Dewan Harian, or state party officials, to finalise the candidates list for seats in the election.