Musa Hitam is both right and wrong when he said that opposition parties in PR should not pretend they are surprised with PAS’ hudud bill
I welcome the open and forthright position taken by former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam that UMNO should make a stand that hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, that it should not try to out-PAS PAS.
He said: “As a former Umno leader, I strongly believe in my heart that since its establishment until today, Umno’s stance too has been that hudud is not suitable for a multi-religious, multi-racial country like Malaysia.”
Warning that UMNO could set on a course of “self-destruct”, Musa said that if he was wrong about UMNO’s stand on hudud, Umno should make a decision on its stance immediately and not brush off the matter.
Musa said opposition parties in Pakatan Rakyat should not pretend that that they are not aware and surprised with PAS’ hudud bill as the party had been championing the issue consistently for a long time.
Musa is both right and wrong when he said that DAP and PKR should not pretend that we are surprised with PAS’ hudud bill.
The Joint Statement of the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council of 28th September 2011 acknowledged that the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment 1993 and the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment 2003 were passed before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat, but took the clear position that while it was unreasonable to require PAS to abandon the agenda, the three PR component parties would give priority to the PR Common Policy Framework and that all policies involving PR and their implementation must have the agreement of all three parties.
Until the recent controversy, the stand of top PAS leaders, whether the late Mursyidul Am, Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat or the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang were consistent with the Joint Statement of the PR Leadership Council of 28th September 2011 that hudud is not in the list of PR priorities to restore freedom and justice, establish good governance and forge national unity among Malaysians.
For instance, in May 2012 in Hulu Terengganu, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang said hudud could only be implemented if there are adequate conditions, giving as examples that if there is no minimum wage provision or resolution of the unemployment problem, the conditions for implementation for hudud do not exist.
Was Hadi being dishonest when he made such a statement up and down the country in the run-up to the 2013 General Elections?
Musa was right that we in DAP and PKR knew of PAS stand on hudud, but wrong when he implied we should have expected PAS’ push for hudud as we had expected the top PAS leadership to be sincere and truthful when they committed themselves to the PR Common Policy Framework as the basis of the political struggle and objectives of all PR component parties, putting aside all their political differences on other issues.
The top PAS leadership push for the hudud enactment in Kelantan and Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation which he unilaterally submitted to Parliament on March 18 were not only against the PR Common Policy Framework and the Joint Statement of the PR Leadership Council on 28th September 2011 on hudud, but also violate the PR Leadership Council decisions of Feb. 8, 2015 that “amendments” to the Kelantan hudud enactment and any private member’s bill on hudud implementation should first be presented to the PR Leadership Council for discussion.
Yesterday, I listed five PAS violations of the PR policy and leadership decisions on the hudud question.
This is what we had not expected, for we had expected all PR parties and leaders to be honourable and honest about their commitments and undertakings in Pakatan Rakyat.
In defending PAS violation of the PR Common Policy Framework and PR Leadership Council decisions, Hadi has said that PAS vision is not just 2020 but “the afterlife”.
I fully respect Hadi’s “Vision Afterlife” but it would appear to be not only unIslamic, but violate all religious canons of honesty, truth and justice if such a “Vision Afterlife” should be built on broken undertakings and violated agreements.
If Hadi’s “Vision Afterlife” takes a higher priority than all other visions, then he should be frank, truthful and sincere and should not have taken PAS into Pakatan Rakyat and commit PAS to the PR Common Policy Framework or allowed PAS candidates to contest in the 13th general elections under the PR banner.
The new Mursyidul am PAS, Harun Din said that hudud is far more important that PR co-operation.
Harun Din is entitled to his views, but this was clearly not the view of Nik Aziz when he was the Mursyidul am.
In any event, if what Harun Din said was the view of the top PAS leadership, then they should not have joined DAP and PKR to form the Pakatan Rakyat in 2008, swear allegiance to the PR Common Policy Framework, and misled Malaysian voters regardless of race and religion in the 13th General Elections into believing that hudud was not in the PAS and PR list of priorities.
It is a fallacy to accuse anyone who disagrees with the PAS hudud enactment as anti-Islam.
Yusuf Qaradawi, the Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, had said that the problem is not with the application of hudud, but with their misapplication; that is, applying them without meeting their conditions.
Internationally noted Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan had called for a moratorium on hudud punishments, as (1) Muslim scholars are not in agreement on the interpretations given to the texts upon which these practices are based, nor do they agree on the required conditions in which they would be applicable; and (2) the application of the hudud laws today is used by repressive powers to abuse women, the poor and political opponents within a quasi-legal vacuum and with a total disrespect for human dignity.
The Kelantan hudud issue must not be turned into a Muslim vs non-Muslim debate when it is about Islam’s message of justice and equality as well as the Malaysian constitutional compact with all Malaysians, raising even the question whether the 1963 Malaysia Agreement is being violated in the process.