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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Ex-IGP: PAS’ hudud bill fishy, with hidden agenda

Rahim Noor says it’s a tactic to introduce hudud bit by bit and, worrying about its effects on multi-religious Malaysia, slams those who say it only affects Muslims.

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Inspector General of Police Rahim Noor’s instincts tell him PAS’ attempt to move amendments to the Shariah law are more than that.

He thinks it is a tactic to introduce hudud (punishment under Islamic law), bit by bit, to be implemented later.

Rahim said he was concerned about the effect this would have in multii-religious Malaysia.

He was commenting on PAS president Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill in Parliament to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.

“They say the bill is not to uphold hudud but only to enhance the shariah, such as the status of the Shariah Court and the punishment.

“But we can see from the reaction of a handful of PAS leaders that it is just a tactic,” Rahim, who was IGP from January 1994 to January 1999, told the Star in an interview.

“It might not state in the bill that they want to implement hudud. They say there will be no death sentence and only an enhancement of the shariah.

“But I feel after this bill is passed, hudud will be the next step they will be pushing for.

“They (PAS) know they can’t get a bill on hudud passed straight away so they have to do it slowly. It is political game,” he said.

Rahim said “the pressure will keep building up” if Parliament were to pass the bill.

He said this could trigger anxiety and fear among non-Muslims in the country, including Sabah and Sarawak which have a sizeable population of non-Muslim bumiputeras such as the Kadazandusun, Murut and Iban.

“This is not a good sign. It can jeopardise our national integration. I feel the Government should be firm and stress that hudud cannot be implemented in this country because it contravenes the Federal Con­stitution,” The Star quoted Rahim as saying.

He said those who argued that non-Muslims need not be concerned because the law would not affect them had a skewed view of things.

“This is a big deal and a question of criminal justice. It has an impact on our spirit of togetherness because all citizens should be treated equally under the law.

We can’t have a Muslim charged and punished under hudud for a sexual offence and the non-Muslim partner gets a civil sentence. So this law affects everybody,” he said.

He also feared it might push leaders from Sabah and Sarawak to split from Malaysia, not wanting to be part of such a deal as this was not what they agreed to when they came to form Malaysia in 1963.

“People forget that Sabah and Sarawak were never part of British Malaya and Singapore.

“They never wanted Islam to be stated as the religion of the country, but they compromised and agreed to it,” The Star quoted him as saying.

Rahim said: “We already have a system in place. No one has criticised our present system as being archaic or creating injustice. So I don’t see the need for another system.”

Rahim said there was also uncertainty as to how the bill would affect the police if it were to be passed in Parliament.

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