KAJANG: Hudud has been so sensationalised and politicised that it has become difficult to hold a critical discourse on the subject, Syariah Lawyers Association of Malaysia (PGSM) deputy president Musa Awang said yesterday.
He said the enforcement of hudud provisions was not something new, as it had been incorporated into the Laws of Malacca before the British occupation.
"This has been mentioned in several research works on hudud and in forums by Datuk Ismail Kamus," he said during a discussion on hudud organised by Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia) (Abim).
He said the mere mention of hudud should not provoke fear in the people. Those who are well versed in hudud should explain the intricacies of the law to the people.
From a legal viewpoint, Musa said it was possible to implement hudud in the country. He proposed a referendum be held among the Muslim community to gauge the percentage of Muslims who agree and do not agree with the implementation.
"If the people of Kelantan are agreeable then it should not be a problem."
Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, an expert on constitutional law, said it was up to a state government if it wanted to implement the Islamic law.
"The Federal Constitution has outlined the jurisdictions under the federal and state governments.
"The claim that a state cannot implement hudud is arguable."
On whether a dual system consisting of Islamic and civil laws would cause confusion, Aziz drew parallels to the crimes under the Penal Code with those under the Islamic criminal law Jenayah Syariah.
"This is not a problem. Malaysia is not the only Islamic country where this duality exists."
Abim secretary-general Mohamad Raimi Rahim said political parties should not harp on hudud for political mileage as this would create a negative image on the Islamic law.
"The key here is understanding. A discourse on the subject with reference to the current legal system would be beneficial."
Raimi added that according to joint research by Merdeka Center, Goethe Institute and the Friedrich Naumann foundation -- "Values, Dreams, Ideals of Muslim Youth In Southeast Asia: Surveys in Indonesia and Malaysia" -- a majority of youth agreed to the implementation of certain provisions of Islamic law.
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