Posted tagged ‘Hudud’

Hudud incompatible with multi religious society

April 1, 2015

The Hudud amendment passed in Kelantan state assembly still preoccupies the thoughts of both Muslim and non-Muslim Malaysians. It is rightly so since the amendment can have far-reaching consequences that cannot be reversed. It is one way all the way.

Malaysians of all races and religions have to stand united to say a big ‘NO to Hudud’ once and for all to the proponents of this punitive bill. Party president Abdul Hadi Awang said PAS wanted to test Muslim MPs on their support for the Islamic criminal law. It is this kind of holier-than-thou attitude that we must stop. Religion is a personal matter and nobody has the right to test anyone’s faith in God. Islam gets a negative image due to the actions of people like Hadi and hardliners.

For a multiracial and multi-religious country, Hudud is certainly not an appropriate law. Many quarters have voiced their opposition to this bill and now PAS hardliners are saying that the government can save the money needed for operating prisons. This is a lame excuse for someone who has run out of bullet. Ulamas and Muslim hardliners must stop speaking for others. Everyone has equal access to God and these hardliners are not gatekeepers of heaven or hell to decide who is to go where. This attitude of ‘holier than thou’ of PAS hardliners and their UMNO supporters causes huge problems for moderate and ordinary Malaysians of different religions, including Muslims themselves.

This amendment is more about control and politics than anything else. It is public knowledge how the FT Islamic affairs department hounded and humiliated a Muslim bookstore manager after the High Court, Court of Appeal and even the Shariah High Court had all freed her of any wrongdoing. Now, she has to beg this department to let her go and to stop torturing her.

She has spoken up several times:

“My crime was being a Malay and Muslim store manager who could be a scapegoat for Jawi to show its power.”

“I thought the pain and humiliation I suffered for three years ended with the courts’ decisions. However, my happiness was short-lived.”

“Jawi, please let me go off this oppression.”(sic)

Already, JAWI, JAKIM and other state Islamic affairs departments feel that they are above the law. Life will become a veritable hell on earth for those like the bookstore manager if these departments are further equipped with Hudud punitive laws.

We already face problems with having two sets of laws – civil and shariah. These include body-snatching in the midst of grieving relatives and family without evidence of conversion, marriages interrupted because one party has Islam written somewhere in their identity documents and schoolchildren converted by teachers without their parents’ knowledge. The Islamic affairs departments are more keen on enforcing their religious law than on enforcing justice and fairness. Hudud law will certainly complicate and make matters worse.

When Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular Malaya and Singapore, all separate entities, agreed to come together to form Malaysia, the condition set by Sabah and Sarawak was that there was to be no Islamic state and Hudud.

Yet, hardliners like Hadi Awang do not honor their words, as was seen in the Selangor Menteri Besar appointment. If they do not honor their words, how can people trust them regarding Hudud. They can twist their words and all promises of fairness and light punishment may be broken when it comes to delivering actual punishment. What happened to the welfare state promised by PAS before GE13?

The Hudud issue remains unresolved because Prime Minister Najib is steadfast in his silence. Malaysia has the weakest prime minister now. The Hudud amendment to the Kelantan Syariah Code 11 1993 has put Malay MPs in a difficult position. Either way they will be criticised. The prime minister must at least provide protection for those who openly voice their opinions. Threats of murder and rape must be acted upon by the police. If this is not possible, then there is no democratic process as claimed by PAS.

Umno, the devil’s advocate in pushing for hudud

March 27, 2015

The passing of amendment to the Syariah criminal code 11 1993 in Kelantan is uncalled for at a time when Malaysia is inundated with serious economic and financial debacles and dilemmas. The 42 billion 1MDB loan, weakening of ringgit, high cash outflow, the 16 years continuous budget deficit, rising prices and wages stagnation, rising extremism and fundamentalism supporting ISIL to name a few. While the whole nation is grappling and coming to term with these issues PAS has unilaterally created another constitutional crisis by passing this punitive and primitive law. Datuk Nazri Aziz the tourism minister said that only stupid people will talk about hudud law in Malaysia.

PAS claims that they have tabled and passed the bill democratically but this bill removes all democratic rights of both Muslims and non-Muslims. The peer pressure within Malay/Muslim community silences people from voicing out their opposition against hudud. Even those few who honestly voice out like the satirical artist of BFM are threatened with murder and rape. PAS Ulamas and UMNO supporters of hudud did not speak against these threats. They seem to accept and tolerate rape and murder threat but cannot accept an honest opinion of this punitive and primitive Shariah law. PAS Ulama’s narrow interpretation of punitive laws is reducing the status and dignity of Shariah laws.

Obviously UMNO is playing the devil’s advocate to push hudud as a legislation to deliberately break the unified opposition. UMNO should not spite the opposition to hurt the country and itself. UMNO creates a national crisis whenever it is confronted with serious scandals and internal strife. Operasi lalang and even UMNO Baru were staged and hosted to avert and divert serious challenges to UMNO leadership. UMNO has shrewdly coaxed PAS Ulama faction to table the hudud bill to divert public attention from 1MDB, GST and rising prices.

PAS Ulama faction and UMNO have failed to reckon the sprinkling support emerging for IS militants and growing fundamentalism. Malaysia don’t need more religious laws that will encourage extremism.

The moderate group’s growth and acceptance within PAS makes Ulamas vulnerable and not confident of themselves. They lean on UMNO to gain support and financial aid and this lethal partnership is destroying what our founding fathers painstakingly built. UMNO’s support for the Syariah criminal code 11 1993 amendment in the Kelantan state assembly is blatantly clear after 12 of its assemblymen voted for the bill. It will be a flagrant deviation from the stand taken in the so-called global movement for moderation by Prime Minister Najib.

UMNO support to Hudud bill clearly violates the 18/20 point agreement with Sarawak and Sabah. The first point says that while there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia, there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo. Therefore this Hudud bill is not applicable in multiracial Malaysia.

PAS good at scoring own goals.

March 21, 2015

UMNO must be relieved at the turn of focus from 1MDB to now Hudud amendment in Kelantan. PAS without Tok Guru Nik Aziz has lost its focus and falling into UMNO trap. The Islamist party had won both Terengganu and Kedah in the past but then lost both due to its fanatical focus on religious matters and not bread and butter issues. Both the states were lost to Umno, and yet the Ulama faction in Pas finds it is somehow kosher being chummy with Umno, its former arch enemy, rather than being faithful to its Pakatan Rakyat allies. And Umno is skillfully and successfully enticing Pas into the hudud trap that will eventually help it wrest Kelantan from Pas.

Kelantanese revered Tok Guru and voted him in as Menteri Besar. But Pas has lost a spiritual and moral leader and runs the high possibility of losing the state in GE14. Umno has been subtly nudging Pas to amend the Kelantan Syariah Code 11 1993, knowing very well that it will not go down well with the people of Kelantan who are just recovering from the worst flood ever. It is unfortunate that the Ulama faction in Pas has wool pulled over its eyes and cannot seem to distinguish between friend and foe.

A recent Merdeka Center survey shows 81% of Malay/Muslim respondents across Peninsula Malaysia felt that the Kelantan state government should prioritise repairs and reconstruction of homes damaged during the devastating floods rather than concentrate its efforts on passing a bill to amend its 1993 hudud enactment. A similar survey conducted in April 2014 revealed that a majority (58%) of Malay respondents thought that the country is not ready for hudud implementation. But the Pas political leadership is not listening.

Another recent survey shows that 67.5% of Malays, 91.4% Chinese and 89.2% Indians who polled preferred a party that takes care of all Malaysians and not race-based parties championing their own communities. While Malaysians are moving towards national harmony and unity, Umno and Pas are galloping in the opposite direction for their own political survival.

But these recent developments have opened up space and opportunities for more moderate and people-centric political leadership among Malay/Muslim communities. But, of course, the hardline faction of both Umno and Pas will never allow space for the moderates to flourish. Malay/Muslim communities are being suffocated and suppressed by these religious and racial zealots and bigots. Both Umno and Pas are preventing and building barriers for the community to be competitive and strong to face the challenges of globalisation.

Kelantan remains one of the nation’s poorest states and its agriculture-driven economy has remained largely sluggish. The average monthly family income is one of the country’s lowest at RM3168 in 2012. The large presence of foreign workers are stagnating the wages for working class which is largely Malay/Muslim. Even race based parties are getting outdated but PAS is going back to stone ages of cruel inhuman punishment and suppression. Malaysians have to show them the door out.