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PAS: Burning rituals not stopped, so why stop hudud?

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Attempts to block PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill violate the freedom of religion, said PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

He argued that the Chinese custom of burning items for their deceased ancestors and the cremation of bodies were not banned though such practices pollute the environment.

Tuan Ibrahim said this is because there is freedom to practise one's beliefs in Malaysia, however one sees fit, and the same should be extended to Muslims as well.

"Imagine, if there was a party that wants to ban the burning of anything, including the cremation of remains, for environmental reasons. Can this happen?

"So, it is impossible for any political pact to bar Muslims from fulfilling their obligations, especially in the case of something as small as amending Act 355 to raise the jurisdiction of syariah courts.

"Muslims have their religious obligations, as others do in their religions. Muslim obligations do not interfere with that of other religions," he added.

'Federal list offences not included'

Tuan Ibrahim said that it was a misconception that the implementation of hudud in Kelantan could involve amputations.

He explained that Act 355 did not include offences of theft or robbery because these fell under the federal list.

It only covers offences provided for in the respective of syariah enactments at state level.

He said In the case of Kelantan, hudud punishments are only for zina (sex outside marriage), qazaf (accusing others of sexual misconduct without proof), consumption of alcohol and apostasy.

Similarly, he pointed out that Hadi’s bill did not touch on murder and rape, which are on the federal list, under the Penal Code.

"PAS did not take the easy route, and the PAS president is tabling a motion so the bill can be debated before being accepted by Parliament.

"It fulfils the proceedings of democracy practised in this country. How is it unconstitutional?" he asked.

'PAS continues to oppose the government'

Tuan Ibrahim said while PAS appreciated the BN government's decision to prioritise Hadi's bill ahead of government business in Parliament on May 26, it was not an indicator of collusion.

"This is a matter of religion, just like how the Umno-led government approves construction of temples in opposition-held areas.

"But PAS continues to oppose the government on the issue of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the goods and services tax and 1MDB," he added.

He said accusations of PAS-Umno cooperation are abundant despite the prolonged discrimination faced by residents of PAS-led Kelantan from the BN-led federal government.

"PAS members endured all of this. So it is strange for some quarters to repeatedly accuse PAS of cooperating with Umno," he added.

He argued that the fact Umno and PAS are squaring off against each other in the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections also debunked the collusion claim.

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