KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 ― After Kelantan, Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) is now eager to see hudud roll out in Malaysia's most developed state, which is likely to open another can of worms.
The state opposition coalition is meeting today to decide whether or not to propose a study to push out the controversial Islamic penal code at the next sitting of the Selangor legislative assembly, which starts next Monday.
Selangor State Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh confirmed the study on hudud to be among four proposals she received from BN for debate.
“I have yet to decide on them, whether to allow or not for them to be debated,” she told The Malay Mail Online in a text message.
Umno’s Sungai Air Tawar assemblyman Kamarol Zaki Abdul Malik, who mooted the study, told The Malay Mail Online that his proposal was submitted last week.
“It was submitted around a week ago, but it was sent on my behalf by Inmind,” Kamarol said over the phone, referring to Institut Perkembangan Minda, an agency which acts on behalf of BN assemblymen in the state.
The final word on the motion however, will hinge on a meeting of BN assemblymen ― all of them from Umno ― today.
The Malay Mail Online understands the proposal seeks to look into the possibility of enforcing hudud in Selangor.
Malay-Muslim activists in support of the idea have argued the enforcement of hudud is in line Article 3 in the Federal Constitution, which states that Islam is the religion of the federation.
Opponents however argue that hudud cannot be carried out in Malaysia as Islamic law is applicable only on Muslims and if enforced, would run counter to other fundamental provisions in the constitution, namely Article 8, which prescribes equality before the law for all, regardless of their religious beliefs.
Selangor BN whip Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias demurred when asked if his coalition hoped to debate hudud in the state assembly next week, saying the assemblymen would know the decision only closer to the start of the assembly.
“This is still premature. We will decide before the assembly sits later,” the Sungai Burong assemblyman told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.
Selangor PAS has previously been reported expressing its support for hudud to be implemented in Kelantan.
Despite that, its state party commissioner Iskandar Abdul Samad said in April that it will adopt a wait-and-see approach towards Putrajaya’s reception to the controversial Islamic penal law before proposing it in Selangor.
PAS has 15 assemblymen out of 56 in the Selangor state assembly. Umno has 12.
This comes as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) allegedly proposed in a working paper by its Shariah-Civil Technical Committee recently for hudud to be rolled out nationwide in two stages.
The first stage will involve amendments of several federal and state laws, following which each state’s Shariah criminal offences enactments can be amended to prescribe hudud punishments for four offences: zina (illicit sex), alcohol consumption, apostasy and making unproven accusations against zina.
Last month, PAS said it will delay tabling two Parliamentary private members’ bills needed to pave way for the enforcement of hudud in Kelantan, to allow a proposed bi-partisan committee to study the implementation of the Islamic penal code.
Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said his party will push for a national-level committee on hudud.
Muhyiddin, who is also deputy prime minister, said both local and foreign experts on hudud would sit in the proposed committee.
The specifics of the committee remain under wraps.