Tomorrow, PAS will table the amendments to the Syariah Criminal Code (II) Enactment, Kelantan, 1993, at the State Legislative Assembly in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Many quarters are waiting with bated breath to see if the bill gets the unanimous support of the assemblymen.

Political observers expect an easy passage for the amendments, more so because the bill has been approved by the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V.

In his speech at the opening of the third session of the State Legislative Assembly at the Kota Darulnaim Complex yesterday, the Sultan had voiced his support for the implementation of hudud in the state.


What is PAS' priority - to be on good terms with its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or to pursue its hudud struggle?

Asso Prof Mohd Izani Mohd Zain, who is a lecturer with Universiti Putra Malaysia's (UPM) Department of Government and Civilisation Studies, said PAS was likely to choose Syariah law over maintaining its relationship with its allies.

"However, PAS is hoping that it will continue to enjoy the support of the people who voted for DAP and PKR... PAS sees the hudud issue as its right. If it is afraid of losing votes, it would have postponed the implementation of the hudud law earlier on," he told Bernama, here.

He said PAS had forged cooperation with the DAP in 1999, while the proposal to introduce hudud law came about back in 1993. The DAP, however, had flatly refused to support the implementation of the Islamic penal code.

"Surely there's something that's not right about the political cooperation (between PAS and DAP)," he said.

Mohd Izani said it was not necessary for PAS to postpone the implementation of the hudud law, even though it was facing stiff opposition from its two allies.

"When PAS took a firm stand to implement hudud, it obviously took into consideration the risks involved," he said.

PKR Deputy President Mohamed Azmin Ali was today reported as saying that there was no need to speed up the implementation of the hudud law, considering that it was not among the policies the three PR parties had jointly agreed on.


The UPM lecturer is confident that the PAS-led state government would be able to secure the unanimous support of the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly.

"The situation will become interesting when the matter comes up for debate in the Dewan Rakyat later," he told Bernama.

However, PAS is currently the sole advocate of the hudud law as it had failed to convince PKR and DAP to support it in its mission to introduce the Islamic penal code, which had been the party's long-time agenda.

Will PAS succeed in getting the support of all 132 Muslim Members of Parliament when it tables a Private Member's Bill in the Dewan Rakyat to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 and Article 76A (1) of the Federal Constitution?

The amendment to Article 76A (1) of the Federal Constitution seeks to empower the Kelantan government to implement the Syariah criminal code while the federal government would have to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 pertaining to the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts

Mohd Izani said while he expected PAS to gain the support of UMNO in Parliament, the conflict among the three members of the opposition coalition may flare up if PKR and DAP refused to throw in their support.

"PAS will not withdraw from Pakatan Rakyat ... maybe PAS will be expelled by DAP and PKR. But DAP and PKR should think twice before expelling PAS because they need the party to win the support of the people," he said.

While not rejecting the possibility of the opposition coalition splitting up, he said it would not be too surprising if they decide to join hands once again just before the next general election.