Hudud impossible for now

  • PR would have suffered serious losses in 2013 polls if hudud was major issue, says DAP
    PR would have suffered serious losses in 2013 polls if hudud was major issue, says DAP

    Pakatan Rakyat would have suffered devastating setbacks in Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Melacca if it had made hudud a major issue in last year’s general election, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang said. The Gelang Patah MP (pic), who had earlier said hudud was never a vote-winner for PAS in previous elections, gave an illustration of how PR... …

  • Court acquits PKR rep, rules 10-day notice in public assembly act ‘unconstitutional’
    Court acquits PKR rep, rules 10-day notice in public assembly act ‘unconstitutional’

    The Court of Appeal today struck out the charge against Selangor's deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who was charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act for failing to give police a 10-day notice for a rally last year. A three-man bench led by judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff bin Md Yusof also ruled in a unanimous decision today that Section 9 (1) of... …

  • Assembly law cannot criminalise public gatherings, court rules
    Assembly law cannot criminalise public gatherings, court rules

    PUTRAJAYA, April 25 ― The Court of Appeal today unanimously ruled it unconstitutional to criminalise spontaneous public assemblies in breach of the 10-day notice required under the Peaceful... …

  • Albukhary International University withdraws decision to cease operations – Bernama
    Albukhary International University withdraws decision to cease operations – Bernama

    The Albukhary International University (AiU) in Alor Setar, Kedah has withdrawn its decision to cease operations. Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the ministry was informed of the matter by the management of AiU through a letter Wednesday. "With that decision, the matter is no longer an issue," he told reporters... …

  • Jalan Bukit Bintang stretch remains closed to traffic
    Jalan Bukit Bintang stretch remains closed to traffic

    The 500m stretch of Jalan Bukit Bintang (Jalan Tun Razak-bound) between Chulan Square and Menara Worldwide will remain closed to all traffic, said Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) today. At 10.42pm last night, a sinkhole appeared at the left lane of Jalan Bukit Bintang, said MRT Corp in a statement released this morning. The... …

  • Bible ban in Pahang hotels draws flak
    Bible ban in Pahang hotels draws flak

    Islamic authorities in Pahang have overstepped their jurisdiction by banning non-Muslim religious materials in hotels in the state, say political and religious leaders. The Pahang Islamic and Malay Customs Council's (Muip) recent prohibition is the first ever such ban to be issued in the country involving hotels, and has drawn strong criticism... …

PETALING JAYA: Hudud, the Islamic system of criminal law, is destined to remain entangled in a series of legal, political and administrative processes that will prevent its application for a long time to come, says PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali.

At the mention of the complexities that surround hudud — ranging from the implementation issues that it entails, the differing stances on the subject taken by Pakatan Rakyat coalition members and its incessant appearance in the headlines since 2008 — Mustafa chuckles.

“But you have never seen hudud being implemented,” he responds, drawing attention to the contrast between all the talk over the matter on the one hand, and the lack of any legal or practical steps taken to implement such laws, on the other.

Speaking to fz.com in an interview recently, the Islamic party strongman says that he would not be surprised if the issue makes another comeback as the general election approaches.

He says that although the Pakatan parties — PAS, DAP and PKR  — have “agreed to disagree” over the issue, it will not just go away as it is close to the heart of any Muslim and it is a matter of principle for followers of Islam to uphold.

“No Muslim, whether in PAS or Umno, can say that hudud is not in Islam or that it is against the teaching of Islam. But if you speak to an Umno person, although he would agree with this, there are so many ‘buts’ and ‘buts’ [to justify its lack of implementation],” he says.

Hudud, says Mustafa, must be discussed in a broader perspective, as it is a “very small” portion of the Islamic justice system.

“It is more of a deterrent than a form of punishment ... more to instil fear in the people. It is just a small part of all the different systems of life in Islam such as economics, education and social well-being. Hudud is a very small part of criminal law,” he said.

In what (for now) appears to be the last word on the issue, Pakatan decided in September 2011 that DAP will stick to its opposition to the issue and PAS cannot be forced to abandon its principle to implement the law.

Flanked by 20-odd top Pakatan leaders, the coalition’s head Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had said then: “Pakatan respects the PAS initiatives and aspirations (to implement hudud in Kelantan), but we have to reach a consensus … DAP is opposed to that and PKR and PAS respect that decision”.

He also said the matter was a non-issue as the existence of the Second Syariah Kelantan Criminal Enactments 1993 and the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactments 2003 required amendments to the Federal Constitution.

Referring to these state laws, Mustafa reiterates that the passage of any laws containing elements of hudud must follow the democratic process.

“Even in Kedah (where PAS holds 16 out of 36 state seats), we don’t have the numbers to implement Hudud (or pass any related legislation),” he says, noting that the state laws passed in Kelantan and Terengganu were voted for by a two-thirds majority in their respective state assemblies.

“So at the moment it is a state matter. If at all it is [to be done on a national level], it must adhere to the democratic process, meaning even the passage of the bill must be done with the two-thirds majority,” he adds.

The PAS veteran says the law is difficult to implement effectively as it requires cooperation of national-level of bureaucracy.

“You need the cooperation of the Prisons Department, the Police and others. Without this, it cannot be implemented,” he says, referring to the intricate cross-agency cooperation needed.

As sensitive an issue as this may be to the Muslim psyche and despite the many obstacles that stand in the way of achieving a united mindset on its implementation in the bureaucracy, Mustafa says the issue is also being manipulated by Barisan Nasional coalition party, MCA to win political currency over its rival in the opposition, the DAP.

“The rhetoric is just to instil fear in the Chinese voter that a vote for DAP is a vote for hudud. But that is wrong for MCA to say especially when DAP doesn’t agree with the adoption of hudud,” says Mustafa.

“Eventually, people can see that it is just [MCA’s] political ploy,” he says.

For more stories, go to www.fz.com, the website for freedom of expression and fairness in articulation.

 

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Jan 10, 2013.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …