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Karpal: Pas must respect Constitution


HUDUD: Agreeing to disagree won't end DAP-Pas squabble, says DAP chairman

KUALA LUMPUR:  UPSET over Pas' insistence on pursuing its agenda on hudud, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh yesterday said the opposition pact must resolve their differences on the issue.

He felt the comment by Pas secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali that the party would not drop the issue despite the opposition's stand to exclude it from their Buku Jingga (Orange Book), was unacceptable.

Buku Jingga is a document of the opposition's policies, known as the common policy framework.

He said Pas must accept the Federal Constitution and lay the issue to rest for them to win in the coming general election.

"Hudud is an issue which requires an immediate solution by the component parties of the opposition pact. Agreeing to disagree, whatever that means, is no solution," he said in a statement yesterday.

Karpal said hudud could only be implemented in an Islamic state and not in a secular state like Malaysia.

"A secular state like Malaysia must, of necessity, have secular laws."

He said the secular state declaration or decision was drawn in 1988 when a five-man bench, headed by then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas, ruled that the country was governed by secular law.

"Both Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn (former prime ministers) were on record that Malaysia is a secular state.

"They were lawyers, well versed with the constitutional position of Malaysia."

Karpal said even Pas president Abdul Hadi Awang was quoted last year as saying that the Quran did not provide for an Islamic state but for a welfare state.

"This pronouncement by right should have put to rest Pas' long-term objective to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state. The framers of the Federal Constitution gave the country a sacred document which did not include any provision for an Islamic state.

"It is a matter of law that Malaysia is constitutionally a secular state which is a basic structure of the Constitution, which cannot be amended even with a two-thirds majority in Parliament," Karpal added.

He said in law, the basic structure of the Constitution was beyond amendment.


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