PETALING JAYA: The push for hudud by PAS will not help it secure more votes in elections, Dr Chandra Muzaffar said in an opinion piece published in The Star today.
The Yayasan 1Malaysia Board of Trustees Chairman said the Muslim masses “have time and again” set aside dogma and based their choices on economic, health and education-related matters.
Chandra said the fact that the majority of Malay voters in Malaysia, while acknowledging PAS’ Islamic credentials, voted for Umno proves that the ability to ensure peace and economic development, is more important to the ordinary citizen than “allegiance to dogma for dogma’s sake”.
“It is this attitude among Muslims here and elsewhere that gives us hope that when the chips are down, sensible, rational minds among people will prevail and dogma camouflaged in religious garb will be rejected,” he wrote.
Chandra also questioned the use of shariah in trying to gain more votes for PAS after its president, Abdul Hadi Awang pushed for the amendments to the Shariah Courts Act to increase penalties under the shariah law in Kelantan.
He said PAS’ espousal of shariah and hudud had little or no significance in mobilising mass support.
Parliament had last month brought forward the Private Member’s Bill to amend Shariah Court Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965.
This led many to believe that PAS was paving the way for hudud to be implemented in Kelantan.
PAS has since stressed that it merely wants to increase penalties for certain offences.
The Islamist party had a few days ago, while campaigning in a Chinese constituency in Kuala Kangsar, claimed that hudud would help protect the women in the community from being harassed.