Hudud held back by lack of consensus

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS’ hudud dreams in Kelantan remained just that today after Pakatan Rakyat agreed that it has to have a consensus among all three partners – PAS, PKR and DAP – for the Islamic law to be implemented.

At the same time, the pact also agreed not to stop PAS from raising the hudud issue again.

More importantly, Pakatan noted that any implementation of the Islamic law in Kelantan, or even nationwide when Pakatan comes to power, would need a constitutional amendement first in the parliament.

“Pakatan respects the PAS initiatives and aspirations (to implement the hudud in Kelantan), but we have to reach a consensus… DAP is opposed to that and PKR and PAS respect that decision,” said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim after a lengthy Pakatan meeting tonight.

He said that Pakatan respected PAS’ and PKR’s support for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan just as it respected DAP’s opposition to it.

“However (a change to Islamic law) requires a Pakatan Rakyat consensus and an amendment to the (Federal) Constitution, and DAP’s position is that they are not supportive of that particular proposal,” he told reporters at the PAS party headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut.

The meeting, attended by all Pakatan top leaders, started at about 9pm and ended almost after midnight. Anwar was the only leader who spoke at the press conference.

The PKR supremo said that Pakatan’s leaders acknowledged the existence of the Second Syariah Kelantan Criminal Enactments 1993 and the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactments 2003.

“Both enactments are already there, but there is a need to refer to Pakatan Rakyat because it involves federal constitution amendments… As it stands, the matter is a non-issue,” he said.

Anwar said the need for a Pakatan consensus on the matter does not mean PAS will be stopped from  talking about implementing hudud laws.

“This is not an Umno-controlled Pakatan Rakyat. We respect the right of people to present their case, ask questions and raise the matter… To deny PAS to articulate their position is not fair,” he said.

Victory for DAP

Pakatan Rakyat’s hudud uproar erupted last week following a dare by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the PAS-ruled Kelantan to impose hudud.

Kelantan menteri besar and PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat immediately said that the state was ready for hudud laws, a move which was supported by Anwar in his personal capacity.

However DAP was opposed to the idea as it claimed that implementation of Islamic laws was not part of Pakatan’s common policy framework.

A tense stand-off ensued between PAS and DAP with leaders from both sides fighting for their case.
PAS Youth leader, Nasarudin Hassan Tantawi was among those who strongly defended PAS’ right to implement hudud.

In a bid to stop the turmoil from escalating, Pakatan imposed a gag order on its leaders from openly disputing the hudud issue. The Pakatan meeting today was held to solve the hudud impasse.

However the outcome of the meeting is seen as a victory for DAP as it has managed to stop PAS from moving forward with its hudud plans, although any such immediate plan could have been thwarted at the parliamentary level as the Barisan Nasional government has always rejected PAS’ hudud plans.

When approached by reporters after the meeting and asked if he was happy with the outcome, Nasarudin merely said, “its a common consensus and our (Pakatan) stand is clear”.

PAS’ influential secretary-general Mustafa Ali was asked how he would react to claims that PAS had sacrificed its Islamic state ideals to reach a common consensus with Pakatan, to which he said:

“Let people say first then we would react to that later,” he said.

When asked to elaborate on the common consensus as it seemed quite vague, Mustafa merely said, “this is a strong consensus”.

Apart from Anwar, the Pakatan meeting was attended by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang , PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, DAP chairman Karpal Singh and other senior leaders from the three parties. Nik Aziz was absent and was represented by Kelantan exco member, Takiyuddin Hassan. – FMT

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