The Newsletter 71 Summer 2015

Testing the political waters: PAS's "hudud" proposal and its impact

Norshahril Saat

ON 19 MARCH 2015, the Kelantan Legislative Assembly amended the Syariah Criminal Code. This move was unanimously supported by both the state’s ruling party, PAS (Islamic Party of Malaysia), and opposition UMNO (United Malays National Organization). This was yet another attempt by the PAS Kelantan government to implement hudud laws in the state, something it has sought to accomplish since 1990. However, one more hurdle stands in its way before the laws can be implemented, namely, amendment to the Syariah Courts Act in the Federal Constitution. With this last obstacle comes another challenge for PAS. The secular DAP (Democratic Action Party) and non-Muslim parties (from East Malaysia) in the federal parliament would defi nitely oppose the move. PAS faces an arduous task to convince its partners to support hudud