ALOR SETAR: The Federal Government has never rejected the implementation of hudud, the Prime Minister said.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said, however, there were "loopholes and shortcomings" that must be addressed before such a law can be implemented in Malaysia.
"There is a vast difference between rejecting the law and not implementing it," he said at the closing of a religious programme at Dewan Seri Mentaloon here yesterday.
He said many restraints and issues must be scrutinised and tackled first before hudud could be implemented without affecting its objectives.
"That's why we need ulama among the mujtahid (Islamic scholars competent in interpreting syariah by ijtihad or independent reasoning) to scrutinise and to exercise ijtihad so that justice can be served."
While the Government lauded calls by any quarter to implement hudud in Malaysia, Najib said it must also take into consideration other aspects in practising the true teachings of Islam.
He said both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities must be ready for its implementation.
"We have to ensure that the Muslim community is mentally ready and fully understands the law.
"The same goes for the non-Muslim community.
"They must be given the opportunity to understand the Islamic law clearly and comprehensively so there will be no misunderstandings about the teachings of Islam.
"The Government is also committed to implementing the principles of Maqasid Syariah in the national administration system (to meet the foundations of the faith, life, lineage, intellect and property).