There is a very interesting event for New Mandala readers in the Canberra area relating to Islam and Malaysia.
On 19 March the Parti Islam (PAS) led administration in Kelantan amended its 1993 hudud act, reaffirming its commitment to punishments including whipping or stoning to death for adultery and sodomy, amputation for stealing, and death for apostasy. The bill was drafted by a technical committee that had the support of Malaysia’s ruling party UMNO, and all 12 UMNO assembly members voted in favour. Malaysians who have criticised hudud have been charged or threatened with sedition.
PAS cannot implement hudud in Kelantan until parliament passes enabling organisation. UMNO has said it will support a PAS-sponsored private members bill to allow this. Will it do so?
Hudud has strained relations between UMNO and non-Muslim parties in the ruling National Front, and between PAS and its coalition partners in the People’s Front. Will these coalitions hold or might there be new cooperation between UMNO and PAS?
Other questions arising include whether or not Malaysia’s leadership of the Global Movement of Moderates will be affected? And is hudud compatible with Malaysia’s constitution and democracy?
About the Speakers
Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM). Formerly Temerloh MP, ex-deputy Higher Education minister, and UMNO Supreme Council member. He has published widely in newspapers and has written six books, the latest entitled New Politics (2009). He is a frequent commentator on a wide range of political issues, and has led UMNO attempts to present a more democratic face to younger Malaysians.
Liew Chin Tong, elected MP for Kluang in the May 2013 election, and previously MP for Bukit Bendera (2008-2013). Since 1999, Chin Tong has served DAP in various capacities and is now a Member of its Central Executive Committee, serving as Political Education Director. He graduated with a degree in Political Science and an honours degree in Asian Studies from the Australian National University.
More information is available HERE.