Malaysia's Kelantan state tables amendments to law, paving way for implementation of hudud

The Kelantan government tabled amendments to the Criminal Code Enactment II 1993 on Wednesday, paving the way for implementation of hudud in the east coast state.

Hudud is a set of laws and punishments set in the Quran that could allow for flogging and amputation, among other forms of punishment.

The Bill stipulates six offences that are punishable under hudud. One of the offences is falsely accusing others of unlawful relations. Before a charge of illicit sex can be upheld, there must now be four witnesses to an act.

Sodomy or anal sex is an offence not only between men or between a man and a woman out of wedlock, but also between husbands and wives in the absence of consent. A wife may now lodge a police report against the husband for forcing anal sex on her.

Apostasy is considered a crime and could be punishable by death. Other offences that are punishable under the hudud law are theft, robbery, and consuming liquor or intoxicants.

The laws will apply to all Muslims of sound mind and who have attained puberty and thereby deemed to be able to discern right from wrong.

The proposed Bill is expected to see smooth passage, as 32 of the 45 assemblymen are from Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), while 12 are from Umno and one from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). The Sultan of Kelantan had also voiced his support of the Bill on Monday in his address at the opening of the state assembly sitting.

But the prospect of hudud in Kelantan has the potential of further damaging the already fragile ties between PAS and its coalition partners PKR and the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

DAP, a secular party, said hudud defies the Federal Constitution and it will continue to reject hudud as it is impractical and against the Pakatan Rakyat coalition’s common policy framework.

asruls@sph.com.sg