Kedah MCA chief now denies backing hudud
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — Kedah MCA chairman Datuk Chong Itt Chew denied today Sinar Harian’s report citing him as saying Kedah MCA supports hudud law in Malaysia, accusing the Malay daily of having twisted his words.
Sinar Harian had published a report titled “MCA Kedah sokong hudud” (Kedah MCA supports hudud) on the front page of its print edition today, quoting Chong (picture) as telling political foe the DAP to drop its opposition to hudud law as the Islamic penal code would not affect non-Muslims.
“That is not through (sic) sinar twist the phone interview, i will having pc tomorow 11-00 am in mca alor star jln pegawai tq, “ he told The Malaysian Insider in a text message when contacted to reply to the report.
Chong said Kedah MCA was strongly against hudud law.
“Kedah MCA all the way has been following instructions from HQ that we will not accept implementation of hudud law, especially PAS hudud law,” he said in a phone interview with The Malaysian Insider.
“I myself as MCA state chief so many times I have been openly against PAS Kedah (that it) can’t simply implement hudud in the state... Very impossible that I go and support the hudud law,” he said.
“So I don’t know how they twist and turn the statement,” he said, referring to the Sinar Harian report.
Chong also said the MCA’s stand on hudud was very clear.
“My president (Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek) already announced that MCA definitely will not support Islamic law, especially hudud law. On this issue, the best person to refer is my president,” he said.
Chong stressed that he had never mentioned the DAP in his phone interview with Sinar Harian, contrary to the paper’s report.
Sinar had quoted the MCA man as saying in its report: “Sekiranya pelaksanaan undang-undang itu (hudud) membawa kebaikan kepada rakyat dan negara, ia tidak akan jadi masalah termasuk kepada orang bukan-Islam. DAP juga tidak patut membantah.” (If the implementation of the law brings benefits to the people and the country, it will not be a problem including to non-Muslims. DAP should also not object.)
The DAP, the MCA’s long-time political foe, has repeatedly made clear it is opposed to hudud law being enforced as Malaysia is not an Islamic theocracy but has come under attack from religious conservatives — including the state muftis of Pahang and Perak — who dubbed the secular opposition party “kafir harbi”, or belligerent infidels, for its consistent opposition to Islamic penal law.
The DAP’s two Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies, PAS and PKR, have also been dragged into a heated debate on the subject.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a former Umno president and prime minister who still wields great influence, has said that PAS could realise its goal to set up an Islamic state and carry out hudud if it joined Umno in a bid to woo the Islamist party to the BN’s side.
The controversy prompted PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang to rise to its ally’s defence, pointing out that while the DAP opposed hudud, Umno had already rejected its implementation.
However, the MCA at the federal level has also persistently maintained it is opposed to hudud law.
Just last week, the party’s deputy publicity chief Loh Seng Kok told the DAP to stop being “subservient to PAS”, urging the opposition party’s leaders, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng, to “use their influence to urge other Pakatan leaders to issue a joint statement saying that PAS has abandoned its theocratic state and hudud law agenda.”