A MCA leader has slammed what he called a "crafty" move by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to allow the implementation of hudud by amending federal legislation.
Party legal affairs bureau chairperson Tay Puay Chuan said Hadi's Private Member's Bill dubbed the 'Hudud Bill' was a "sneaky tactic to implement hudud enactment via federal law to increase Syariah court’s powers".
He was responding to Umno leaders' attempts to douse the controversy yesterday saying Hadi's amendments were only applicable to Kelantan Muslims.
"(MCA) refutes the assurance by the Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom that the proposed amendments of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill (Act 355) by Marang MP (Hadi) is only applicable to Kelantan Muslims.
"On the contrary, changes to the Act will affect people in the whole of West Malaysia," said Tay in a statement.
Tay argued the amendments to federal legislative means it can then be applied nationwide and not just in Kelantan.
"Hence, not only are Kelantanese Muslims affected but all Malaysians too. Thus, the deputy prime minister’s rhetoric is confusing and stands to be corrected," he said.
'Crafty disguise for hudud'
However Tay did not mention Prime Minister Najib Razak, who finally spoke up yesterday saying the bill was a "big misunderstanding" by the public.
"I would like to clarify that the amendment (bill) is not hudud law, it is just to enhance the punishment from six times (of the rotan) to a few times, depending on the offences.
"It also involves the Syariah Courts and only involves Muslims. It has nothing to do with non-Muslims," Najib was reported saying.
Tay said Hadi's move to amend federal legislature was thin disguised aimed at allowing Kelantan to implement the hudud enactment the state had passed with the aid of Umno assemblypersons last year.
"Hadi Awang must be chided and exposed for deploying a crafty method to disguise to the implementation of PAS hudud enactments.
"He does not have any constitutional means other than to expand the executorial authority of the Syariah courts by modifying Act 355, to be enabled to enforce PAS hudud enactments," said Tay.
The amendments, he argued, meant Kelantan's hudud penalties are no longer blocked by federal laws as is the present situation.
"Hence, Hadi Awang has shrewdly resorted to federal legislation to implement PAS hudud enactments," he said.
Meanwhile Hadi last night praised MCA and MIC for having a better understand of hudud than its former partner DAP, whom Hadi berated for opposing the Islamic penal code.
"By right non-Muslims should not have interfered in this issue (hudud). I see that the MIC and MCA appears to understand better but DAP does no understand," said Hadi at the unveiling of their by-election candidate.