Don't proceed with hudud panel, MCA urges Government

KUALA LUMPUR - MCA has called on the Government not to proceed with the federal hudud technical committee, saying it is premature in multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia.

Its religious and harmony bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker urged the Government not to fall into a PAS trap. However, he added, should the committee proceed, it should include members from all races and those from the academic and legal professions

He feared that the fundamentals of justice, fairness and respect for all religions, as advocated by Islam, "mig­ht turn out otherwise" if the hudud penal code was implemented.

Ti added that the issue could change the country's legal system and this would indirectly affect non-Muslims.

Meanwhile, MCA gave 10 reasons for its objection to the implementation of PAS' hudud in Malaysia.

Among them was that the country already had a comprehensive common law system and that freedom of religion, which was guaranteed under the Federal Constitution, should not be challenged.

"The judiciary structure should maintain its diversity which matches the pluralism and the system of the country instead of relying on PAS' hudud, which infringes (on) the freedom of religion and leads to questionable justice," said Ti.

Quoting a legislative assembly report on May 1, 1958, he said then prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had stated that this was not an Islamic country but one that accepted Islam as its official religion.

Ti claimed that PAS' hudud could bring a negative impact to the country's economy.

In a related development, Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie urged the Barisan Nasional Whip in the Dewan Rakyat to take disciplinary action against Cabinet members who support PAS' hudud movement and to also instruct them to leave the joint federal-Kelantan joint technical committee on PAS' hudud.

She said the non-Muslim likened the Private Member's Bills that would be tabled in Parliament to pave the way for PAS' hudud as "religious abuse".

Heng added that it was disappointing that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Sri Mustapa Mohamed had expressed their support and were also in the technical committee on PAS' hudud.

A forum titled Hudud - A Nation At Crossroads will be held at 2pm at Wisma MCA here on Saturday.