Tasik Gelugor Pas information chief Abdul Rahman Kasim has predicted there is “no way” hudud can be implemented in Kelantan now even though the Shariah Criminal Enactment bill will in all likelihood be passed in the State Assembly this week.
Pas has 31 seats in the 45-seat Kelantan State Assembly, Umno 12, PKR one, with the remaining seat presently vacant following the passing of Nik Aziz.
“I believe all the Pas elected reps have been instructed how to vote (i.e. in favour of the bill).”
As for the Umno state assembly reps, a few of them might vote for the bill while a few others might abstain, predicts Rahman, who is personally in favour of hudud.
This would easily give the hudud supporters more than a two thirds majority.
But even though the bill may be passed in the Kelantan State Assembly, the crunch will come when the federal Parliament votes on the private member’s bill to enable the implementation of hudud in Kelantan, perhaps in the next sitting in May.
In the 222-seat Parliament, if it actually comes to a vote (and that itself is a big question mark), most of the 21 Pas MPs will vote in favour of hudud, says Rahman.
Umno MPs will be allowed to vote according to their conscience. Rahman predicts that just 25 of the 88 Umno MPs will vote for the bill. The rest of the Umno MPs are likely to abstain. He believes these MPs are likely to take their cue from Najib, who had said last year several issues needed to be resolved before the law could be implemented in the country.
Moreover, Mahathir had said there would be no justice if hudud is implemented in Malaysia because it is only applicable to Muslims, and exempts non-Muslims.
As for PKR, Rahman said he expects perhaps half of the party’s 29 MPs to vote for hudud while the rest may vote against it or abstain.
The other BN component parties and DAP will not support hudud, he says.
When the numbers are added up, it would fall well short of the two thirds support (from 148 MPs) needed to amend the Federal Constitution to allow for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan.
Pas, he says, realises the numbers are not on their side, but they are using the vote this time to test the waters; “it is something like a fishing expedition.”
The party, he says, may revisit the issue in a few years time when it hopes that it can convince more of the non-Muslims to support the implementation of hudud.
“Non-Muslims have nothing to worry about now,” he quips.
Blog reader ktwong87 responds:
Abdul Rahman Kasim richly deserves the respect of a large number of non-Muslims which he earned with his mature and balanced thinking. His opinion that there is “no way hudud can be implemented in Kelantan now” is likely to be valid.
However, there are some points which have not been mentioned in this write-up:
1. Pakatan has been torn in two by Pas’ hardheaded disregard for the common policy which all three major component parties had agreed to – no pursuing of hudud until Putrajaya has been won. Hadi and his ulamas thumbed their noses at that agreement, essentially saying, “So what? We are obeying Allah, and that over-rules everything.”
2. The persistent talk that Hadi has made a unity government deal with Umno in which he gets to be DPM as well as hudud cannot be discounted. This is especially so in the light of developments after Nik Aziz’s demise.
3. Whatever the outcome of the hudud bill in Parliament, Umno has already won. The antics of Hadi and his hardline ulamas have meant that a very large number of once-supporters of Pakatan Rakyat will not vote for a Pas candidate in GE14 should Pas remain in Pakatan. If Pas leaves or is kicked out of Pakatan, then there will be many three-cornered fights involving Pas, a Pakatan candidate and an Umno/BN candidate. Umno/BN will very likely benefit from the split Opposition vote. Just look at Kota Damansara where Pas’ candidate [with the persistent support of Hadi’s son-in-law Din Ayam] caused the official Pakatan candidate to lose during GE13. The long chrished dream of so many rakyat and Pakatan itself – to kick Umno/BN out of Putraajaya – is a goner unless Hadi is booted out and somehow the damage undone.
So whatever the true intentions of Pas, this hudud fiasco is at best a sad story of foolish vanity, and at worst [and much more likely so], a story of hypocritical, self-serving, political abuse of religion.