(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The new PAS leader, Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang told
Malaysiakini yesterday that “PAS
will continue to
pursue the moderate agenda of its late president Fadzil Noor” and
Hadi, as PAS Terengganu Mentri Besar, should withdraw the
controversial Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment Bill to underscore his
assurance that PAS under his leadership will pursue a moderate agenda.
A fortnight ago, I had emailed Hadi to withdraw the Bill as it was clearly against the Federal Constitution, violates human rights and discriminates against women.
I had said in my email to
Hadi that “to proceed with the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment
Bill is to invite legal challenge to its legality and constitutionality”, and
this has been proven correct with the filing of a legal suit by a Kelantan UMNO
official to challenge the
constitutionality of the Bill.
In my email, I had also said that the Bill will fortify
public perceptions and convictions
that PAS policies are at loggerheads with the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the
“social contract” and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and incompatible with
pluralism, human rights, women’s rights, development and modernity.
DAP has made clear its grave concern and opposition to various provisions in the Bill, in particular with regard to sections 8 and 9 where a woman who reports that she has been raped will be charged with qazaf (slanderous accusation) and flogged 80 lashes if she is unable to prove the rape; section 22 concerning death and confiscation of all property for apostasy; section 43 denying women and non-Muslims from being witnesses; section 48(2) providing that an unmarried woman who is pregnant is assumed to have committed zina, even if she is raped; and the contravention of the the Federal law and Malaysian Constitution, especially with regard to the constitutional limits of “3-5-6” restricting state syariah laws from imposing sentences exceeding three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine or six strokes of the rotan.