Parti Keadilan Nasional should stop dilly-dallying and take a clear stand to strengthen the political middle path in Malaysia by speaking up unequivocally against UMNO and PAS versions of  Islamic State as well as the PAS   Terengganu hudud and qisas enactment

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday)Parti Keadilan Nasional  should stop dilly-dallying and take a clear stand to strengthen the political middle path  in Malaysia by speaking up unequivocally against UMNO and PAS versions of  Islamic State as well as the PAS   Terengganu hudud and qisas enactment. 

The  repeated declaration by the acting PAS President and Terengganu Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that non-Muslims would have no policy-making role in an Islamic state is a clear statement that in the PAS version of an Islamic state, non-Muslims are immediately  relegated to a second-class citizenship status, completely contrary to the meaning and spirit of the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the “social contract” and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement. 

The subsequent grudging concession by Hadi that non-Muslims could take part in making policies in PAS’ Islamic government on general issues such as housing and transportation has only compounded the gravity of the diminution and relegation of non-Muslim Malaysians  to second-class citizenship status – as it is a clear exclusion of their fundamental and inalienable  right to take part in determining the national destiny of plural Malaysia. 

Why should non-Muslims be consulted only on issues like housing and transportation and relegated to their respective communal or religious ghettos while  excluded from the decision-making process on  crucial issues like finance, education, defence, justice and nation-building? 

Is Hadi’s subsequent  concession on housing and transportation solely influenced  by the fact that in the Barisan Nasional government, these have become traditional non-Muslim ministerial portfolios held either by MCA or MIC, and does this mean that PAS’ version of Islamic State is being influenced by UMNO practices? 

Hadi’s use of communist countries to justify the PAS stand that while non-Muslims could assume executive roles in government, only Muslims should formulate policies is most shocking.  

How could an Islamic party use an atheistic creed which is the very antithesis of democracy  to justify its exclusion of non-Muslim citizens from policy-making roles in the governance of the country? 

 By doing so, it has focused sharply  on the compatibility of PAS’ Islamic State with democracy and pluralism, let alone human rights, women rights, social tolerance, development and modernity. 

Hadi’s frequent use of the United States as an example to exclude non-Muslims from policy decision-making process  is also misguided.  Hadi often asked why it should be different in an Islamic state when in the United States, policies are made based on the ruling government’s respective ideologies. 

Hadi does not seem to know that in the United States, it is not unusual for Republicans to  serve in important capacities in Democratic administrations  with policy-making powers and vice versa – raising another vital question about the compatibility of PAS’ Islamic State with democracy and pluralism. 

What are matters of grave concern to Malaysians are the claims by PAS and Keadilan leaders that Malaysians have nothing to fear about PAS’ Islamic State or the PAS Terengganu hudud and qisas enactment as compared to draconian laws like the Internal Security Act.

PAS leaders have repeatedly  misled Malaysians when they claimed that the fears about hudud are baseless, with Hadi telling the Terengganu State Assembly that Syariah laws and hudud, which had long been practised in Saudi Arabia,  have  proved to be effective in maintaining peace and security. 

Hadi also  said it was  only on “rare occasions” that people convicted of offences are punished under hudud, “may be there would be one or two cases in 10 or more years”. 

Hadi said that there was too much public concentration on the punitive aspects, such as the chopping of hands and whipping, which had obscured the “beauty” of the laws, and asserted that “punishment under the hudud law cannot be meted out on the suspect even if there was a 0.01% of doubt”. 

Malaysiakini  today gave this report on Hadi’s dialogue at a luncheon in Penang on Sunday:

“In reply, Hadi said the ‘fear’ is testimony to how great the law is or else crimes will be an unresolved problem.

“’If laws are not feared then what is the use of having them? Look at the positive side, if there are about 30,000 to 40,000 thieves in Malaysia, do not think that there will be 30,000 or 40,000 hands chopped, see it as 30,000 to 40,000 thieves who will stop stealing,’ he said.

“Hadi said common laws could not solve the country’s crime problems. Prisons, he said, may not rehabilitate a criminal effectively but may instead affect him negatively or make him a worse.

“’Stealing and murder are diseases of society and threaten the security of a city.

“’People cannot sleep well when they are around. These criminal are feared and they are hard-hearted, that is why their wrongdoings cannot be treated lightly,’ he said.”

From Hadi’s accounts, one would have expected Saudi Arabia which had long practiced Syariah and hudud to be a very peaceful and even crime-free society. 

But what are the facts? 

The Seventh United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998-2000) which  gives the following statistics about crime in Saudi Arabia  does not  bear out the picture of a peaceful and crime-free society as Hadi wants Malaysians to believe: 

Crimes recorded in criminal (police) statistics, by type of crime including attempts to commit crimes





Total recorded




intentional homicide, completed




non-intentional homicides




major assaults




















automobile theft
















drug offences




bribery crimes





Are amputations and executions few and far between in Saudi Arabia? The facts speak otherwise.

In its 2000 report, Amnesty International said it had recorded 1,163 executions in Saudi Arabia between 1980 and December 1999.  It also registered a rising trend in the use of the death penalty. The average annual number of executions between 1980 and 1986 was 29. The average between 1987 and December 1999 was 73 but it appears to have exceeded 100 a year after 2,000.

In contrast, it has been reported that there had been some 300 executions in Malaysia in the past 30 years.

As for amputations, Amnesty International recorded 90 judicialamputations in Saudi Arabia between 1981 and December 1999, including at least five cases of cross amputation (right hand and left foot).

It said  however that the true number is probably much higher.  Such punitive surgery are clearly contrary to international codes of medical ethics such as the UN Principles of Medical Ethics and the World Medical Association’s Declarations  of Geneva (1948) and  Tokyo (1975), a modern equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman