Umno playing politics with hudud push, Saifuddin tells students in Australia

by Shaun Tan
Malay Mail Online
April 10, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Support for hudud exists only on the fringes despite the high-profile coverage on the controversy over the Islamic penal law in Malaysia, said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Speaking during a summit organised by the Malaysian Students Council of Australia (MASCA) in Brisbane, Australia yesterday, the Umno leader also said his party’s apparent support for hudud was “just politics”.

“Hudud isn’t mainstream. The mainstream is moderation and democracy,” he said.

During discussions on the topic, he said while the Quran uses the word “hudud” 14 times, none of the mentions involves a fixed punishment, but instead appears in relation to marriage, divorce and kindness to orphans.

Saifuddin also condemned last year’s Bible seizure by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department and the attempts to ban non-Muslims from using the word “Allah,” as well as the ruling party’s stance on Islam and society.

“Barisan Nasional has lost the plot,” he said. “We have to rewrite the script (and reclaim) the new middle ground.”

Liew Chin Tong, the DAP MP for Kluang, said secularism is vital because it is the only principle that provides equal freedom for all religions.

He urged Malaysian Muslims to put themselves in the position of the minorities in a country and consider the type of political system they would prefer.

“If I was a Muslim in London or Australia, how would I want that society to treat me?” he asked.

MASCA describes itself as the umbrella body for Malaysian students in Australia and boasts seven chapters — one in each Australian state except for the Northern Territories. The summit yesterday, which drew some 600 attendees, and which is held annually, is their flagship event.

Last month, the Kelantan state assembly passed the amendments to its state Shariah Criminal Code, with support from both PAS and Umno lawmakers.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang submitted two private member’s Bills on the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code, which were discussed in Parliament in the recent sitting, but have since been deferred to the next session in May.

The Bills seek to remove legal roadblocks to the enforcement of the controversial Islamic penal code (hudud) that punishes apostasy with the death penalty and theft with the amputation of limbs.

  1. #1 by Noble House on Saturday, 11 April 2015 - 3:11 am

    One might add that the concept of the rule of law should also include the separation of religion and state as a basic constitutional principle, since the influence of both state and religious institutions in the application of the law could lead to arbitrary interpretations. The policies of organized religion if not separate from those of the government could lead to the misuse of power, when a corrupt judiciary or police force can manipulate the laws to their advantage.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 11 April 2015 - 3:15 pm

    Saifuddin argument is totally off the point. When it comes to Islamic politics, most Muslims are irrelevant. It does not mattter most Malays even most Malay politicians are not for Hudud because they are irrelevant. Its true 20% or even just 10% of Malays or even just UMNO and/or PAS politicians truly believe in Hudud – THEY SET THE AGENDA BECAUSE THE ISLAMIC POLITICS IS FEUDAL, even possible Medieval – the majority, most of them don’t get to say, they don’t elect their ulamas and its doubftul they elect the leaders of Islamic political parties.. It is simply Islamic politics to confirm, to NOT object when their flash the term “islamic” and Islamic text.

  3. #3 by good coolie on Saturday, 11 April 2015 - 11:49 pm

    When Obama and other Mat Salleh leaders come to Malaysia, Najib will preach that Malaysia practises “moderation” and those fellows will say, “True,true!”.

    Semua ni main wayanglah!

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Monday, 13 April 2015 - 9:15 am

    Dis UmnoB kaki sounded like DAP kaki
    While Hadi sounded like UmnoB kaki – supporting POTA

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