To my knowledge, the DAP has not at any time agreed to the introduction of hudud in the country as claimed by PAS ulama chief Harun Taib at the 51st dewan ulama muktamar in Kota Bahru yesterday.
The assertion by Harun Taib is certainly mischievous and a long way from the truth. The DAP has time and again publicly asserted its stand against the introduction of hudud in the country. Hudud cannot exist in Malaysia which is a secular state.
A 5-man bench of the Supreme Court (the equivalent of the Federal Court), the highest court in the country, headed by Salleh Abbas, the then lord president, declared as far back as February 29, 1988 that Malaysia was governed by secular laws, which meant the country was a secular state.
Hudud is not secular law, but law in an Islamic state. It would be incongruous for Islamic criminal law in the form of hudud to exist in a secular state like Malaysia.
The position of the DAP on this issue cannot be subject to any compromise. It is fundamental to its existence.
It is most unfortunate that such an assertion was thought fit to be made at the muktamar. The position is further compounded by Harun Taib’s statement that even before Pakatan was formed, PAS had clarified its views on hudud with DAP on many occasions when both parties sat together to exchange their views.
It is preposterous for Harun Taib to add to insult to injury by saying, “As for Karpal he only sounds to be disagreeable (on the hudud issue), but that does not mean he disagrees.”
Of course, I have always disagreed and publicly stated my reasons for saying so based on the provisions in the federal constitution and interpretation of those provisions by the highest court in the country.
Karpal Singh is DAP chairperson and Bukit Gelugor MP.