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KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yesterday sidestepped a call by DAP national chairman Karpal Singh for an urgent meeting of Pakatan Rakyat leaders to decide “once and for all” the intention of its ally, Pas, to implement hudud.
Also yesterday, a political analyst termed Pas and DAP as “arch nemeses” on the hudud issue and that Pakatan stood to lose votes, even seats, over the issue.
Hadi told a press conference at the party headquarters here that Pakatan should focus on its common objectives and “celebrate its differences”.
The Pas president said Pas was with its allies on common issues such as poverty eradication, justice, Islam as the federal religion and Malay special rights.
“These are the concepts we agreed upon. Although there are differences, we will celebrate these differences among ourselves.”
Pressed further on whether the party would implement hudud under a Pakatan administration, Hadi again side-stepped the issue.
“I have already made my statement many times. I do not want to repeat because I want to focus on the present, which are the challenges in the coming general election.”
Hadi similarly declined to be drawn into discussing remarks by Pas Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib on the willingness of Pas to change its political partners in search of those in favour of implementing hudud.
“I answer based on facts, not conjecture,” Hadi said.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s law and policy studies lecturer Dr Kartini Aboo Talib, who described Pas and DAP as “arch nemeses” on the hudud issue, said: “They have to find common ground. Their current sentiments on this matter is bad for their image.”
Hadi was quoted recently as saying that Pakatan would incorporate Addin (way of life) into the Constitution if it came into power, a remark he has since distanced himself from.
When Karpal renewed his criticisms, Harun Taib asserted that Pas would push ahead with hudud and was willing to look for new
This has prompted Karpal to chide the two leaders of sabotaging a decision taken at Pas’ own muktamar last year where it was announced that the party was giving up its Islamic state agenda in favour of a welfare state concept.
Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian also believed Pas and DAP’s inability to have a consensus over hudud would have a bearing on voters, especially the fence sitters.
“The staunch DAP and Pas supporters might believe that this issue can be sorted out later, but the fence sitters will want to know the outcome now.”
He added that both parties needed to compromise to show that they could move beyond their political differences.
DAP’s national publicity secretary Tony Pua said Pakatan had agreed to disagree on this.
“This (issue) does not arise as it is not in the (Buku Jingga) manifesto or common policy framework. There have been some leaders who may make claims against what is explicitly stated in the Pakatan agreement.
“We’ll just have to put aside those comments as their own personal opinions, not endorsed by any party.”