Politics

Tension simmers at PAS assembly

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA SELANGOR – May 4, 2015: The first day of the PAS muktamar (annual assembly) today was not without drama as tension between two ideological factions continues to simmer during the debate on the party’s annual report.

Chairman of the party’s legal committee Hanipa Maidin gave a fiery speech while explaining what was seen as his contrasting position compared to that of party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang over hudud.

At one point, delegates heckled Hanipa as he tried to explain his views on the controversial hudud bill, which he was accused of opposing.

Hanipa, who was involved in drafting the bill, clarified that he was not against anyone in the party regarding hudud, adding that he was instead going all-out to defend the bill, even at hostile forums organised by non-Muslims.

Another contention raised during the session was the inability of the hudud bill to be implemented in Kelantan despite the fact that the bill had been passed in the Kelantan state assembly in April.

To this Hanipa explained that in order to render the hudud bill effective, PAS needs to ask Umno to repeal the corresponding legislation that is currently limiting the jurisdiction of syaria law.

“Some PAS leaders have agreed to do this while some are of the opinion that instead of asking Umno, we should have just tabled a private bill.

“Let me be clear. I’m not against the private bill but what I disagree with is the secretive manner in which the private bill was tabled,” he said, adding he had never seen the full text of the completed private bill until it was brought to parliament.

He was of the view that there was nothing wrong in asking Umno to repeal the corresponding legislation as this would prove to the public that even though PAS is striving for Islamic laws, the party has no problem with doing it democratically.

“Why do we need to panic over such a matter?” he calmly asked amidst the heckling from the floor.

Hanipa, who is a prominent member of the so-called progressive faction in PAS, has been a target of criticisms by the ulama faction for allegedly being too accommodating to those who oppose the attempt to implement hudud in PAS-controlled Kelantan.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.