KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will stick to its September 28, 2011 accord on hudud, where the Islamic criminal law will not be part of the coalition’s joint policy until all parties agree to it, despite renewed disagreements in the past week between PAS and the DAP.
All three opposition parties told a press conference after a three-hour meeting today that hudud “is not part of our common policy” but PAS’s position would be respected and heard, stepping back again from the major difference that broke an earlier coalition of the same parties a decade ago.
“We are still tied to September 28, where our priority is the economy and any changes are tied to the constitution and joint policies. So we have not changed our stand,” Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.
DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang also stressed today the three parties had agreed that “any change to our policy must be by way of consensus.”
“All three parties must agree on the question of hudud. On our part, it is very clear it is not in accordance with the constitution but we respect PAS’s views,” the Ipoh Timor MP said.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang added that “we are firm on that common policy and resolutions made by PR. And we respect the difference of ideologies but we don’t want to solve this through the media... but a democratic process.”
The Marang MP had reignited the current controversy after he was reported to have said early this month that hudud would be implemented if PR came to power, but it would only be for Muslims, while non-Muslims would be given the option of whether to follow the Islamic punitive law.
Although DAP chief Karpal Singh then called on Hadi not to speak out on hudud, PAS Ulama Council chief Datuk Harun Taib said on Friday the party would implement hudud if it is the biggest party in a ruling coalition, and said it would even form new alliances to achieve this.
PAS maintains the implementation of hudud, which has long been a contentious issue between Muslims and non-Muslims, as among its aspirations.
The Islamist party has enacted the Islamic penal law in Kelantan and Terengganu but it has not been enforced due to constitutional restraints.
It drew flak from both Barisan Nasional (BN) and PR allies last year over renewed plans to implement hudud, with the DAP central committee threatening to quit if Kelantan goes ahead as planned.
However, PR sources say hudud was not possible as PAS will contest only 66 out of the 222 federal seats with the bulk going to PKR, which is a multiracial party like the DAP, which has been allotted 47 federal seats.
“Unless PAS wins big and the other two parties don’t do so well, hudud will not be an issue,” a PR source told The Malaysian Insider, pointing out PAS has the smallest number of seats in the coalition now.
The September agreement came after close to 30 top PR leaders had met for over three hours to resolve the longstanding hudud issue which has seen the DAP and PAS repeatedly at loggerheads.