Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
Opinion

Published on: Saturday, November 10, 2012

Consider Malaysia's fabric before pushing for Hudud
By: Tan Sri Panglima Herman Luping

TAN Sri Bernard Dompok, the President of Upko said that it is the democratic right of PAS to push for the Hudud law but it was not part of the bargain which Sabahans agreed to form the Federation of Malaysia.

He was speaking at the Upko Convention of the Penampang and Kota Kinabalu divisions at Tun Fuad Stephens community centre at Penampang last week. It was attended by a capacity crowd as the community centre was packed with Upko supporters, indicative of the strong support for the Upko party, and hence the BN coalition government by the people from the two divisions.

Penampang is the parliamentary seat held by Upko with Dompok as the incumbent Member for Penampang. There are two State constituencies within the parliamentary constituency, namely, Moyog and Kepayan.

Moyog is under Upko with Datuk Donald Mojuntin as the State Assemblyman and Datuk Edward Khoo of the MCA as the Assemblyman for Kepayan.

Dompok is correct in his statement about Hudud law in Malaysia.

Only the Islamic party, PAS of the State of Kelantan is pushing for this law to be implemented in the country. Nearly all other political parties in the country are not in favour. Barisan Nasional coalition government parties are not in favour, and this include Umno the main pillar of the BN coalition government.

The opposition party called Pakatan Rayat (PR) comprising the Party Keadilan Rayat (of Datuk Anwar Ibrahim), Democratic Action Party (DAP - Karpal Singh as the national chairman) and PAS are divided in respect of Hudud law. DAP is not in favour and had made its stand clear on the matter.

Not all Malays or Muslims in the country are also in favour.

Even the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was quoted as saying that Hudud law could not be implemented in multi-racial, multi-religious country like Malaysia.

The idea of having one's hand cut off for the crime of stealing, for instance is abhorrent to the majority.

Well known activist and columnist Marina Tun Mahathir had written many times in the print media of her opposition to Hudud law as an inappropriate law for Malaysia. Her latest view was expressed when a man ( the husband) in Afghanistan was shown in a film dragging his wife outside and shooting her in the head at least six times while a group of people watched and some clapping their hands!

She wrote " I hope some of the pro Hudud law people can see this film".

Dompok is correct that the Hudud law was not mention at the Inter-governmental committee meeting (IGC). Indeed, in so far as Sabah was concerned, the very first Point in the 20-Point Safeguards requested by the Sabah leaders was that there would be no State religion in Sabah.

This was also the demand by the leaders from the Interior districts when they finally agreed to join in the formation of Malaysia.

This demand, as Dompok said, was embedded in the Oath Stone planted in front of the District office building in Keningau.

In any case, the old law passed down by Moses of "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" concept was in fact changed in the new concept regarding retaliatory punishment when Jesus said "if a person slaps you on the left cheek, offer also the right cheek" as the new law.

And indeed, today, many Western countries are looking into what is called "restorative law" as a form of punishment.

The Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) here has many provisions regarding offences and the punishments or fines to be imposed by the court.

But restorative law that is actively advocated in some of the Western countries today is slowly receiving attention and appreciation by other countries. To me, restorative law is very much like the concept of "sogit and babas" in the Kadazandusun Adat fines and punishment.

Hudud is considered by the majority of Malaysians as not appropriate law in Malaysia.

Malaysia is a multi-religious country and it was pleasing to see the other day a picture sent to me in the email of three Muslim clerics in Penang paying a courtesy call on the newly consecrated Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Penang, Bishop Sebastian, to congratulate him.

They were seen praying together for peace and a cake brought by them was cut as a symbol of religious unity. We should have more of this.

After all the slogan the BN government is actively advocating and pursuing is "1Malaysia".

But back to the Penampang and Kota Kinabalu Upko convention. Dompok's speech was preceded by his Deputy (deputy chairman of Upko Penampang division) Mojuntin, who is also the State Assistant Minister of Finance.

Mojuntin went through the many projects undertaken in the Penampang districts, all showing that the BN coalition government of both State and Federal are caring governments.

He listed the number of roads already sealed (with asphalts) in the various kampongs and also in the process of being sealed. (he forgot to mention the Gantung road in Inobong, though.

I think the Ketua kampong or development officer of the district has forgotten to include it) He also mentioned the million of ringgits already spent on these many projects.

In the case of Dompok, he pointed that Upko's request to the Federal government have largely been fulfilled or provided.

He mentioned the teaching of Kadazandusun language in schools which is now actively promoted in schools and even at the University of Malaysia, Sabah (UMS), the creation of the Kadazan Chair at UMS and the allocation of funds for the construction of the Native Court headquarters in Penampang.

Electrical power too have been provided in the remote areas of Penampang.

And recently the people of Penampang were witnesses for the opening of the new additional bridge to span the Moyog river ar Kg Pagansakan, Inobong. It is also a multi-million ringgit project.

Indeed, the BN government had also agreed to build a Kadazandusun University at Tambunan.

The Federal government in fact, and in particular, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib.

Najib had been very generous and caring about the needs of Sabah and and Sabahans.

Upko and many other BN coalition parties wanted to resolve the problem of the illegal immigrants and asked for the formation of a Royal Commissionof Inquiry (RCI). And this was granted.

The former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak is appointed the chairman of the Commission and the four members are all from Sabah.

The RCI have started working and it is hoped that their work should finish or completed before the end of March next year.

Bernard was upbeat in his speech. He was full of confidence and conviction that the BN government would be returned to govern again - both State and Federal. He is also confident that the people would continue to support the BN coalition government parties for they realize that only the BN coalition government can deliver the goods to them.

He also affirmed that as far as Upko is concerned, the party would remain steadfast with the BN coalition government parties. Upko could continue to provide valuable support to Barisan Nasional and its policy of 1Malaysia.

With the Upko party president giving a robust support for the BN coalition governments ( State and Federal) with Upko in them, it strengthens further the governance of the BN governments.

There was some misapprehension for a while with UPKO when two of its former stalwart members left the party. But with the assurance made by Dompok last week that Upko would remain with the BN coalition, the community's representation in the BN government is therefore assured.

The other two KadazandusunMurut based parties, PBS and PBRS, had already announced their strong and stead fast support for the State BN government under the able and caring leadership of Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman and the Federal BN government under another able leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Kadazandusun Murut support for the BN coalition government is therefore also assured and in the right direction.