Once again, the Islamic party downplays the rift with its Chinese-dominated DAP partner over the controversial issue.
KUALA LUMPUR: PAS has been forced to play down the controversial hudud issue again after its secular ally in Pakatan Rakyat took the Islamist party to task over its vague position on a plan to implement the Islamic criminal law.
Party secretary-general Mustafa Ali flanked by the opposition pact’s second tier leadership here said the hudud debacle was a “non-issue” but was coy when asked to respond to Karpal Singh’s statement that PAS was backpedalling on its own “transformation”.
Karpal, the DAP chairman, had said that any attempt by PAS to espouse hudud law in the country now would reflect poorly on the decisions made during the last PAS Muktamar – shifting its agenda for an Islamic state to a more inclusive “welfare state”.
The Bukit Gelugor MP had also said that hudud was never included in the “Orange Book”, a document of Pakatan’s policies known as the Common Policy Framework.
“I have to look at Karpal’s statement first before I can comment,” Mustafa told a press conference after chairing Pakatan’s secretariat meeting at the PAS headquarters here.
The issue, which was left at the “agree to disagree” stage, was re-excavated when PAS Youth chief Nasruddin Tantawi said his party was adamant on implementing the hudud.
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Pakatan’s top leadership had in the past said the pact would only uphold the provisions of the constitution but added that PAS had the right to fight for the implementation of the Islamic criminal law often perceived as outdated and “barbaric”.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim had said that any suggestion to implement the law would have to go through Parliament which meant it would not come to effect as PAS did not hold the majority of federal seats.
And things would likely stay the same as Mustafa revealed that the seat allocations between the three components would remain the same with PAS taking the second biggest share, dismissing talks that it planned to contest for 80 out of the 222 parliamentary seats and lead the government should it wrest Putrajaya.
“All I can say is that PKR will be first, PAS second and DAP third (in seat allocations),” he said.
The division had given political rivals fodder. The ruling coaltion had said the split on hudud was irreconcilable and warned the electorate against voting in a pact that would rather sweep its problems under the carpet than solve it.
Pakatan had denied the allegation and said cooperation between the three component parties was stronger as it prepared to unseat the ruling coalition in the 13th general polls.
Karpal to PAS: Don’t spoil march to Putrajaya