Monday, 14 May 2012

Pakatan reaffirms no-hudud stand


PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat’s top leaders are in agreement that the hudud law will not be implemented if the coalition takes over Putrajaya in the next general election as the Islamic penal law is not part of its Common Policy Framework.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang told the media after a meeting of the senior leadership at the PKR headquarters this morning that Pakatan would adhere to the position announced in September 2011.

Pakatan leaders held a three-hour meeting on Sept 28, 2011 to trash out the hudud issue and subsequently announced that it was not part of the bloc’s policy to introduce such Islamic law provisions and that any move to do so would require the consensus of all three parties.

“We agreed back then to uphold the Federal Constitution on the position of Islam while at the same time respecting the different ideologies and religious beliefs within Pakatan Rakyat,” Hadi said.

The hudud question has long been a thorny issue between PAS and DAP, and surfaced again last week after PAS Ulama Council chief Harun Taib said its implementation, as well as amending the Federal Constitution to enable it, would be PAS’ priorities.

Hadi was afterwards quoted as saying that hudud would be implemented if Pakatan came into power but would be enforceable only among Muslims.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh once again raised a strong objection to Hadi’s statement and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said any attempt to work outside the Pakatan framewok would be akin to a “stab in the back”.

Election manifesto

Veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, speaking at today’s press conference, said Pakatan would maintain the Common Policy Framework, which covers the bloc’s commitment to the Federal Constitution, which upholds Islam as the religion of the federation while allowing other religions to be practised peacefully throughout the country.

“If there is any change in policy it will have to be by way of consensus from all three Pakatan Rakyat parties,” Lim said. “And on the question of hudud – it is not in the Common Policy Framework.

“We respect PAS’ views on hudud but our position is also very clear as we feel it is not in accordance with the Federal Constitution.”

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim said all three parties were committed to remaining united in heading towards the next general election and would maintain that unity if Pakatan were to form the next government.
That assurance flew in the face of Harun’s statement that PAS would consider changing its political allies in order to achieve its hudud objective.

“What Kit Siang just said we have signed upon and repeated numerous times,” Anwar said. “But certain quarters within Umno and Perkasa have still attacked us, especially DAP.

“They have even attacked Kit Siang personally as someone who will dishonour the constitution and this allegation has been made as well by Najib [Tun Razak] himself. So I’m very glad that Kit Siang has cleared up the issue today.”

Apart from the hudud issue, the leaders also discussed the coalition’s election manifesto, which, according to Anwar would be adapted to meet each state’s individual needs.

With regard to seat allocation, PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali said the negotiations were “90% complete” and would be finalised at Pakatan’s next meeting, expected to take place within a week.

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