PAS splinter party says good governance more important than hudud

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, a committee member of PAS splinter group Gerakan Harapan Baru, said the focus was one good governance rather than hudud, the Islamic law championed by PAS. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 9, 2015.

The soon-to-be announced Islamist party formed by ousted PAS professionals will place a higher importance on good governance than hudud, a member of the Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) committee said today.

Former PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad told a forum in the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus in Kuala Lumpur that while the new party would not abandon hudud altogether, good governance was the epitome of shariah (Islamic law).

“Hudud is not the be-all and end-all of our struggles, especially for Gerakan Harapan Baru. We want to achieve the true purpose and objective of shariah, which I dare say predominantly hinges on good governance.

“And good governance is not the creation of the West. There are a lot more verses about good governance than hudud in the Quran,” Dzulefly told the forum titled “Rethinking civil society, Islamism and democracy”.

He said it was wrong to focus on parts of the shariah that were “punitive in nature” alone, adding that there was more to Islamic law than hudud.

“Shariah as described by the real jurists of Islam is equal to a house, and the gate around it, which secures the house, is said to be the penal code (hudud).

“If you don’t have a house, any semblance of a house, would it be sensible to even talk about having the penal code? So that’s how we put it across,” said Dzulkefly.

He said the new party’s emphasis on good governance was what allowed it to forge alliances with other parties, based on a common policy framework.

This was unlike PAS, which had recently ended ties with DAP over their differences on hudud.

Dzulkefly added that the new party would not use religion as a tool to quash debate over their policy proposals. Instead, it would allow the people to judge them based on how effective they were.

He said any Islamic policy would be presented through democratic means, and would not be forced upon the people or see a “backdoor implementation”.

For instance, hudud would have to be thoroughly discussed through a “national dialogue” before it could see the light of day in Parliament, said Dzulkefly.

GHB, which was formed in June by 18 of PAS’s most well-known parliamentarians and personalities, is expected to announce the formation of a new Islamist party next month.

The GHB founders mainly comprise those who had lost their leadership positions in the PAS elections in early June.

The new party is expected to join up with DAP and PKR to form a new opposition coalition after the seven-year-old Pakatan Rakyat officially ceased functioning in June. Many of the new party’s members are expected to be from PAS. – August 9, 2015.

The Malaysian Insider