KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia would not be any less Islamic even if it does not carry out hudud as there are other laws that observe Shariah demands, the federal Islamic authority Jakim said on Friday.
Jakim director Othman Mustapha said it was wrong for some parties to suggest that the absence of hudud laws meant that Malaysia was not fulfilling its Islamic obligations, Malay Mail Online reported.
"Just because there is no hudud doesn't mean we are less Islam. We have other laws in place like ta'azir which is under current (Shariah) laws, which proves we have complied with Islamic teachings," Othman was quoted by the website as saying.
Ta'azir offences include slander and perjury, which are outlined in the Shariah laws.
Opposition party Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) wants to push for hudud in Kelantan state which it controls to win back Malay support. The Kelantan state assembly last month pushed through amendments to the Islamic penal code.
In response, PAS' coalition partner Democratic Action Party (DAP) declared it would no longer work with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, whom it accuses of breaking a pledge not to pursue hudud without consulting his opposition partners first.
But the PAS leader has said he will continue to push for the implementation of hudud despite the bitter opposition because he considers it more important than winning votes or holding positions of power.
Abdul Hadi, who is vice-president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, also said Islamic law was the medicine to cure society's ills. And like medicine, he said, the benefits of hudud, which includes amputations and stoning, can be felt only when it was implemented.