Hudud a mathematical impossibility
There are only 130 Muslim MPs in the Parliament, which fall short from the two third pre-requisite to amend the constitution.
FULL REPORTKLANG: It will be impossible to introduce Islamic criminal law in Malaysia even if Umno and PAS are to join forces.
In a debate with MCA last night, DAP’s Hew Kuan Yew pointed out that there were less than two third Muslim MPs in Parliament.
The popular speaker said it takes the consent of at least 148 MPs to push for an amendment to the Federal Constitution to introduce the Islamic law.
“Out of the 222 MPs in Parliament, only 107 MPs from the Peninsular are Muslims. If we add the East Malaysian Muslim MPs, there will only be 130.
“Besides, our constituency delineation is such that there are only 136 Muslim-majority seats, with more than 61% of the voters being Muslims,” he added.
He said that Sabah and Sarawak Muslim MPs, on the other hand, would not necessarily agree with the Islamic state agenda as it contravened the agreements with regard to the formation of Malaysia in 1963, which stipulates that the country is a secular state.
Some 500 people attended the Mandarin debate titled “Hudud law: Diverting attention or potential threat” at Wisma Cheng Chin here.
Hew also said that PAS would have no choice but to be more moderate now if it wanted to win the general election.
He described the “welfare state” concept raised by PAS now as matching DAP’s socialist idea, which was similar to the Swedish model of distributing the country’s assets fair and equally.
Apart from MCA Youth publicity chief Kow Cheong Wei and Hew, the three-hour session also featured speakers such as Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) professor Chin Chong Foh and PAS-linked scholar Kamal Koh.
Hew centered his argument on how the Islamic criminal law should not be a matter of concern when voters go to the next polls; while Kow argued that a politically stronger PAS would prompt Umno to follow suit to be more Islamic.
Hudud is not applicable
Kow, in his speech, said that it was wrong for Muslims to ride on their majority to push forward hudud law because the country was founded upon the consensus of three races following independence.
“If they want to change anything, it must also be with the consent of all races,” he said.
The MCA Youth leader also criticised the hudud punishments as being too harsh and not applicable in society now.
“Next time if you have an accident and lose your hand, you better don’t come out. People might think you have stolen stuff,” he quipped.
The former Kinrara state assemblyman also said that the current system best suited the country, and there was no need for an alternative law.
“We don’t need religious interference in our politics,” he said.
After the four speakers presented their views, it was followed by questions from the moderator and the floor.
DAP supporters seemed to be dominant in the hall, applauding Hew and booing Kow on various ocassions.
During the question and answer session, Hew accused MCA of being subservient to Umno as the party only opposes the Islamic law with Umno’s consent.
“But when [former premier Dr] Mahathir [Mohamad] declared Malaysia as an Islamic state in 2002, [MCA] never made any objection,” he said.
Kow, however, responded that it was DAP who dodged the question of hudud.
He claimed that DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, when forming a loose coalition with PAS and the now-defunct Semangat 46 in 1990, had said that DAP would not get involved in Islamic affairs.
“This caused PAS to grow strong and wrested Kelantan for the first time in the 1990 general election,” he said.
“Now (DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng had said that DAP would pull out from Pakatan Rakyat if PAS forms an Islamic state, but would they do so?” he said.