While welcoming the tabling of a private member’s bill on hudud by Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yesterday as an opportunity to democratically debate Shariah laws in the country, Parit Buntar MP Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa expressed fears that it was a ploy to fish for Muslim votes.
The Amanah vice-president also questioned the Pas president for requesting to postpone debate on the bill to October.
Mujahid said now that the bill was tabled, it would be open to manipulation by supporters and opponents of hudud, especially in the run-up to the by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.
“When this happens, religion is ‘traded’ again to whip up support,” said Mujahid.
He said he was eager to get more details on the bill so that it could be discussed and debated in Parliament.
“As a Muslim democrat, I support a free, fair and responsible debate so that a clear decision can come out of it just like any other bills.
“But I will oppose if Marang’s (Hadi) bill is turned into a campaign issue to strengthen his party or to be used for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections,” said Mujahid in his response to Hadi’s tabling of the bill yesterday.
The bill seeks to amend the Shariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, so that the Shariah court is not limited to imposing a maximum sentence of three years’ jail, RM5,000 and six lashes of the cane, paving the way for hudud in Kelantan or other states wanting to implement the Islamic capital punishment.
Following the bill’s tabling, Pas Youth chief Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz thanked Umno for its support and said his party was ready to use the hudud issue for its campaigns in the twin by-elections.
“We will highlight this issue (hudud) in the by-elections. Umno may also highlight the issue – everyone has a right to do so or otherwise,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
But Mujahid said any such move was immoral and likened it to “selling off religion” for narrow politics.
“I hope it’s not the case although selling the religion has become synonym with religious people including Muslims.”
The Malay-majority constituencies of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar will vote on June 18, following the deaths of their incumbents Datuk Noriah Kasnon and Datuk Wan Muhammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad in a helicopter crash in Sarawak early this month.