The BN will adopt the ‘campaigning without the candidate’ strategy for the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-election as its candidate, Mastura Mohd Yazid, is observing ‘iddah’ (the waiting period following the death of a Muslim woman’s husband).
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the newly-adopted strategy of the BN machinery ever since its inception, took into consideration the fatwa or edict according to the qat’ie law (definitive source of Islamic law) on the ‘iddah’ period.
Umno consulted several Muslim scholars, including those who are members of the National Fatwa Council, besides discussing with Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria, to clear the air among differing views on the position of BN candidates who are observing the ‘iddah’, Zahid told Malaysian reporters in Tokyo.
The deputy prime minister said as such, several methods had been sought to introduce Mastura to the voters, including broadcasting records of her speech at all district polling centres and targeted locations, besides non-verbal communication methods.
“Rest assured that we (BN) have well-thought out this strategy to ensure that due respect is given to Islamic law and hope that the voters in Kuala Kangsar, comprising almost 60 percent Muslims, will understand the needs of the situation,” he said.
Zahid said the campaign strategy of not having a candidate present had been explained to the Kuala Kangsar non-Muslim component leaders of BN to enable them to explain the matter to voters.
He said Mastura would stay home throughout the campaign period as she was observing the ‘iddah’.
Asked about the acceptance of Mastura by voters in the Kuala Kangsar parliament constituency, Ahmad Zahid said the BN candidate had her own advantage as she had much experience in national politics.
She had mixed around with the electorate when her husband, Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad, was the state assemblyperson of Bukit Chandan from 2004 until 2013, after which the Kuala Kangsar Member of Parliament in the 13th general election, Zahid said.
“I am confident that she will be well-received as compared to other candidates who do not mix around in the constituency, thus she will surely be able to do her best,” he said.
'Private Member's Bill will not affect non-Muslims'
He also said the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Court Bill (Criminal Jurisdiction) in Kelantan, will not affect the non-Muslims.
Zahid said non-Muslims need not worry about hudud because if amended it would only involve Muslims, and furthermore, it had yet to be presented for debate in Parliament.
He said before a bill could be approved and enforced, it must go through seven stages, which included gaining the approval of the Parliament, senate and the Conference of Rulers.
“All the processes involved would take a long time, and would only be implemented in Kelantan. I hope that non-Muslims will not worry too much about the Private Member’s Bill introduced by Abdul Hadi Awang (Marang Member of Parliament and PAS president),” he added.