Kelantan still seeking expert views on hudud

KOTA BARU - The judges of the Kelantan Syariah Court are ready to hear criminal cases under hudud laws but the PAS-led state government is still seeking expert views before implementing the Syariah Criminal Code passed 20 years ago.

State Syarie Judges chief Datuk Daud Muhammad, a staunch advocate of hudud, has renewed his call to the state to implement it.

When asked to comment on the matter, Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah said the government was adopting a "non-hasty" approach and needed to collate views from experts, including former International Islamic University professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari.

Dr Abdul Aziz, an expert in constitutional law, had said that the Kelantan government only needed the Sultan's consent to implement hudud.

Mohd Amar, who is also state PAS deputy commissioner (III), said other experts were of the view that there was a need to amend the Federal Constitution.

The Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (II) was passed in 1993 and received the consent of the then Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Ismail Petra ibni Yahya Petra.

Mohd Amar said that although the law included a special court to hear hudud cases, the state government also needed the cooperation of the police and the Prisons Department on where to hold those arrested for offences.

Meanwhile, MCA publicity bureau deputy chairman Loh Seng Kok said Daud's remarks on the readiness to enforce PAS' version of hudud showed the irrelevance of the opposing statements by DAP leaders.

"Responses by Pakatan Rakyat leaders are insufficient to convince anyone as the PAS-led Kelantan state government unanimously passed state enactments favouring the implementation of hudud," Loh said in a statement.

He said it was clear that the current Kelantan government had consented to the implementation of hudud regardless of the assurances to the contrary being given by Pakatan.