Malaysiakini NEWS

Remove disputed provisions to make hudud bill acceptable: DAP

Yap Mun Ching  |  Published:  |  Modified:

DAP today called on the PAS-led Terengganu government to remove the controversial provisions in its proposed hudud bill to reduce opposition towards it and make it more acceptable.

Party chairperson Lim Kit Siang said he had sent an e-mail to the state's Menteri Besar Abdul Hadi Awang urging him to remove the provisions that were contrary to the Federal Constitution, violate human rights and discriminate women.

"If the provisions do not go against these three points, there will be less opposition and the bill would be more acceptable," he told malaysiakini .

However, asked if DAP would support the bill if the provisions were removed, Lim said it was something needed looking into.

In a press statement earlier, he warned the state government against proceeding with the bill as it is could invite legal challenge as to its constitutionality.

The opposition leader added that it would also reinforce the public perception that "PAS' policies were incompatible with pluralism, human rights, women's rights, development and modernity."

According to the DAP leader, the provisions that raise concerns are:

  • Section 8 and 9 where a woman who reports that she was raped will be charged with qazaf (slanderous accusations) and flogged 80 times if she fails to prove the crime;
  • Section 22 which calls for death and confiscation of all properties of a person guilty of apostasy;
  • Section 43 which denies women and non-Muslims the right to be witnesses; and
  • Section 48(2) which provides that an unmarried woman who is pregnant will be assumed to have committed zina (adultery) unless she proves otherwise.
  • Furthermore, Lim said the punishments proposed under the bill also contravened federal law by restricting syariah courts from imposing sentences exceeding three years' jail, RM5,000 fine or six strokes of the rotan.

    Divine obligation

    He also rapped the state government's decision to circumvent consultation of the Attorney-General's Chambers before tabling the bill at the Terengganu state assembly next month.

    Last Thursday, Hadi was reported to have said that the Muslim party feels its obligation to God is greater than fulfilling the demands of the AG's Chambers.

    "Although the God-fearing sentiments of Hadi are most admirable, it is a matter of grave concern as to what would happen if everybody regards his or her obligation to God as greater and higher than fulfilling the requirements of the Federal Constitution," said Lim.

    DAP and PAS were at one time allies in the opposition front, Barisan Alternatif. Last September, DAP quit the front after crossing swords with PAS over its aim to establish an Islamic state.

    Hadi could not be reached for comment.

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