The former prime minister says he is against DAP's interpretation of hudud.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad hinted today his approval to the controversial move by Umno to label opposition party the DAP “haram” (forbidden) for its stand against implementing hudud.
A known moderate, the influential figure was known for his opposition against PAS’ fight to enact the archaic Islamic penal law under his administration, but he appeared evasive today when confronted on the subject, saying his and the DAP’s aversion for hudud are two different things.
He said DAP appeared to be against the idea of the Islamic state whereas he had declared Malaysia as one.
He also said that he was not entirely against the Islamic penal law but opposed PAS’ interpretation of it although he stopped short of explaining what that meant.
“There are two things, not agreeing with the hudud and not agreeing with Islamic state.I declared Malaysia an Islamic state and we are now acknowledged by everyone” he told reporters here.
“The hudud as interpreted by PAS, that, I cannot support,” he added.
Mahathir courted controversy when he declared Malaysia as an Islamic state although the move was never seen as official. His detractors alleged the announcement was merely a move to contain the growing influence of Islamic PAS.
On Wednesday Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia published a front-page report quoting Islamic scholars aligned to the ruling party as saying it would be “haram” to vote for the predominantly Chinese DAP which it described as anti-Islam.
The report said Malaysian Muslims should not support the DAP for its staunch opposition against hudud.
But Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak himself had said recently that he was against PAS’s fight to implement the Islamic penal law considering Malaysia’s multi-racial community.
Opposition leaders blasted the Malay broadsheet for what it described as attempts to incite religious tension aimed at shoring up support from the country’s ethnic majority ahead of key national polls.
Mahathir said he would not comment on the report, saying he was not well-versed in religious matters and would leave it to the readers to decide.