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Monday, 5 December 2011

Insap forum on Hudud leaves public still grappling with fears

Chua: Be clear on hudud

WANI MUTHIAH, FLORENCE A . SAMY and JOSEPH KAOS Jr at the ‘Hudud and its Implications on Non-Muslims in Malaysia’ forum in Kuala Lumpur

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has challenged Pakatan Rakyat to include its stand on hudud and its implementation in its general election manifesto and common agenda.

Pakatan, especially PAS, he said, should be transparent in its stand.

“Right now, there are conflicting signals from Pakatan leaders. Hudud should be in their common agenda since they always never do anything without consulting their partners.

Making a point: Dr Chua delivering his keynote address during the forum at Wisma MCA Sunday.
“If the rakyat votes for PAS, DAP or PKR knowing full well that they will implement hudud law, then we should respect it as it is the voters' choice,” he said at a forum entitled “Hudud and its Implications on Non-Muslims in Malaysia” yesterday.

Dr Chua lambasted DAP for its contradictory stand and for misleading the Chinese community, especially with its “agreeing to disagree” statement.

“On one hand, DAP says it opposes hudud. On the other hand, in the last general election and subsequent by-elections, DAP campaigned vigorously to ensure the PAS candidate won,” he said at the forum organised by MCA's Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research.

The forum was moderated by Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee.

Dr Chua reiterated MCA's opposition to hudud and its implementation, adding that hudud law would adversely affect both Muslims and non-Muslims.

“It is a lie that it will not affect us. We have the right to talk about it as it does affect us.

“We do not accept hudud and its implementation in a multi-racial country,” he said.

Explaining the ramifications, Dr Chua said that the implementation of hudud law would affect the country's foreign direct investment, revenue as well as rights of non-Muslims, including gambling and drinking activities.

He dismissed claims by Pakatan that hudud law could not be implemented even if it came into power but did not have two-thirds majority.

He said Muslim MPs from both sides of the divide would be forced to support the Bill although they might not agree with the implementation as hudud was part of Islam.

Dr Chua pointed out that hudud law could not be implemented without amending the Federal Constitution.

“How then can the rights and freedom of non-Muslims be safeguarded? Which court will have jurisdiction which involves both Muslims and non-Muslims as hudud law cannot exist without the existence of Islamic law?'' he asked.

In his closing address, Dr Chua urged non-Muslims to reject the implementation of hudud law because it had great implications on them.

“We also heard the panellists say that the PAS version of hudud does not represent the true essence of Islam.

Malaysians must make a choice of either choosing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's vision of a high-income nation by 2020 or a failed state run under hudud law,” he added.

On Saturday, Dr Chua had said in Malacca that he had no problem having a public debate on hudud with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng provided the latter answered two questions first.

He said Lim must first explain to the people if he could ensure the implementation of hudud law would not affect the non-Muslims.

Second, he said Lim must explain if the implementation of hudud law would affect the norms and life- style in Malaysia, especially the economic, education and social system aspects.

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MCA hudud forum leaves public still grappling with fears

Puline Wong

(l-r) Ustaz Fathul Bari Mat Jahaya, Ustaz Mohd Kamal Saidin, Lim Chee Wee, Edmund Bon and Prof Dr Chandra Muzaffar meeting MCA president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek during a hudud forum organised by Institute of Strategies Analysis and Policy Research (Insap) at Wisma MCA today.

 KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4, 2011) : Legal and Muslim religious experts tried to discuss the effects of the implementation of hudud law in Malaysia to a public forum comprising mainly MCA members today but stopped short of of answering the fears of the non Muslims.

The panel of speakers which comprised of International Movement of a Just World (Just) president Dr Chandra Muzaffar, special religious advisor to the Terengganu Mentri Besar Ustaz Haji Mohd Kamal Saidin, and Umno Young Ulama working committee chairman Ustaz Fathul Bari Mat Jahaya was moderated by the Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee.

It discussed the implementation of hudud in the country but stopped short of saying whether it should or should not be implemented.

Chandra stated that although some Muslims in the country are for the implementation of hudud as part of their identity, there are many Muslims who have yet to agree.

He said criminal punishments under the hudud law is not the vortex of what Islam is nor what it means to be a Muslim.

"There is an obsession, and a preoccupation with a literal interpretation of hudud and of Islam," he said, adding that this kind of narrow interpretation does no justice to the religion itself.

He warned that should there be a hudud-obsessed state in Malaysia, we might end up as Saudi Arabia or Sudan.

"In many hudud-obsessed countries, their interpretation of hudud emphasises prohibition and punishment, when it should be educate and enlighten.

"To endorse this hudud-obsessed mentality will mean the destruction of the nation," said Chandra.

The issue of hudud, which crops up occassionally, ever since PAS passed the Hudud Act in 1993 in Kelantan, has seen much debate among the ruling Barisan Nasional and opposition parties.

Hudud is the criminal law under Islamic laws and the main fears by non Muslims are on the various forms of punishment which include cutting off hands for stealing and stoning for adultery. PAS had stated that if it comes to power, it will implement hudud in the country for Muslims.

Fathul Bari, although from Umno which has openly opposed hudud, stated that "a misunderstanding is that in hudud, someone caught committing a crime, stealing for example, will have his arm cut off. But this is not true. Islam is a forgiving religion, and Allah s.w.t is a forgiving God."

The he goes on to say "Crime must be punished but the punishment should be appropriate," he said, dismissing the notion that the punishments should always be "an eye for an eye".

"Hudud practised by PAS does not take into consideration the multi-racial society of the country. They want to implement it on everyone," said Kamal, condemning PAS for not interpreting the hudud laws accurately.

From a legal perspective, however, implementing hudud is not possible, said Bar Council member Edmund Bon,

Bon, a human rights lawyer, said hudud law cannot be implemented because the Federal Constitution has not provided for the punishments listed within hudud, nor has the federal government approved hudud.

"Hudud cannot be implemented unless the federal government approves or allows for it, which is why the hudud Bill of Kelantan, which was created since 1983, is still not law.

"Questions of religions are extremely emotional. Because there are so many interpretations of hudud, a moratorium must be established for calm, careful debate on these issues," he urged.

The forum drew more comments than questions from the 200 strong mostly-Chinese crowd, which urged the speakers to address the issue of whether hudud is fair, or if hudud will be implemented on non-Muslims, to which none of the speakers did.

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