'Hudud Bill' not about hudud law, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR • Prime Minister Najib Razak said yesterday that many people had misunderstood the so-called hudud Bill presented by opposition Islamic party PAS in Parliament on Thursday, the Malaysia media reported.

He said the private member's Bill presented by Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) chief Abdul Hadi Awang was not meant to implement Islamic criminal laws called hudud, but only to enhance some existing punishments for local Syariah courts, the Malay Mail Online (MMO) news site reported him as saying.

"I would like to clarify to our friends in Barisan Nasional (BN) that there was a misunderstanding... I would like to state that it is not for the implementation of hudud. It is just to give the Syariah courts enhanced punishments. From six-strokes caning to a few more, depending on the offences," Datuk Seri Najib was quoted as saying by MMO.

Four of the 13 BN coalition parties issued a statement yesterday to say they are against the plan to introduce Islamic criminal law, which includes amputation and stoning.

But Mr Najib said the Bill was meant only to strengthen the law for Syariah courts. They can currently mete out what are called the 3-5-6 maximum punishments, New Straits Times said. These are three years' jail, a RM5,000 (S$1,700) fine or six strokes of the rotan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline ''Hudud Bill' not about hudud law, says Najib'. Print Edition | Subscribe