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Waytha: BN component parties telling people a “half-truth” on hudud

Waytha: BN component parties telling people a “half-truth” on hudud

KUALA LUMPUR: A human rights advocate has expressed dismay that Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties were telling the people a “half-truth” on hudud in the run-up to the June 18 by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar. “It’s not true to continue to claim that hudud will be imposed only on Muslims in Kelantan,” said Hindraf Makkal Sakthi Chairman P. Waythamoorthy who was born in Kelantan. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

“The people should not fall for such claims.”

Waytha, a senior lawyer in private practice who was in the Federal Cabinet briefly after GE13 and in the Senate, stressed in a telephone interview that he doesn’t want to get into the constitutional arguments against hudud for now. “My focus for now is on the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections at the people-oriented level.”

He urged voters in the two parliamentary constituencies not be misled by the BN component parties trying to cover up their failings in the run-up to the June 18 by-elections. It would be a mistake to take things for granted, he warned. “Non-Muslims in particular cannot accept candidates and political parties who push for hudud.”

“We must respect and uphold the Federal Constitution. There’s no place for hudud in the Federal Constitution. We can’t also make Allah exclusive to Muslims or seize Christian literature in Bahasa Malaysia.”

“Islamisation”, even before hudud, has been the bane of society in Malaysia, pointed out Waytha. “This has been true even in Sabah and Sarawak which have no religion in their constitutions, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), 20 Points, 18 Points, Batu Sumpah and the constitutional documents on Malaysia.”

He recalled that no non-Muslim has been Governor of Sabah and Sarawak since 1963 and “if possible no non-Muslim in the two Borneo nations will be allowed to be Chief Minister in their own homelands”. He referred to PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang declaring recently, in the run-up to the May 7 state election in Sarawak, that the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak must be Muslim.

He reminded that Kelantan was the first state to ban female hairdressers, whether Muslim or otherwise, from attending to male clients, and to make separate lanes for male and female shoppers at supermarkets. “There are separate trolleys for halal and non-halal purchases and separate payment counters.”

Outside Kelantan, said the Hindraf Chief, government departments have barred the entry of female members of the public for wearing skirts which stop above the knees. “This is the tip of the iceberg.”

“Non-Muslims are being told not to eat in public, or even eat in the toilet, during Ramadan as Muslims are fasting. This is supposed to be ‘out of respect’ for Muslims and taking into account their ‘feelings’. What about respect for non-Muslims and their feelings?”

In Sabah and Sarawak, he continued, non-Muslims were told by the National Registration Department (NRD) to get a declaration from the Shariah Court if they want to leave Islam and have that fact stated in their MyKads. “These are not Muslims but people who were mistakenly labeled as Islam in their MyKads just because they had a bin in their name or had ‘Muslim’-sounding names.”

“In Sabah and Sarawak, many Orang Asal use bin in their names. Jeffrey Kitingan himself has a bin in his name. The NRD daren’t wag its tail with him. It bullies the poor kampung folks.”

Curiously, noted Waytha, many Muslims in Sabah who have “Christian” names have Islam in their MyKads. “Going by the logic of the NRD in dealing with non-Muslims who have bin in their names, these Muslims who have ‘Christian’ names should not have Islam in their MyKads. It’s a heads I win, tails you lose approach at the NRD.”