Gag Order On Hudud Is ‘Democracy’ Of Opposition

KUANTAN, Sept 27 – Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the Opposition pact’s gag order barring its component party leaders from issuing statements on the implementation of hudud law, contradicted the freedom of speech and democracy which they preached.

“Is this the kind of democracy they are fighting for? That everyone must keep their mouth shut?,” he asked.

He said this in response to a joint statement made PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali, Parti Keadilan Rakyat secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution and DAP representative Anthony Loke Siew Fook yesterday, barring their leaders from making further statements on the hudud issue until the opposition pact’s leadership met tomorrow.

Mohd Shafie said the opposition pact had always bragged it fought for freedom of speech and democracy, but did not practise what it preached.

“What kind of democracy are they talking about? They have been bragging out loud in Parliament that they were fighting for freedom of speech, but in reality, they (PAS and DAP) could not even sit at the same table to discuss the issue,” he said when met at MARA’s Aidilfitri open house here today.

Mohd Shafie, who is also rural and regional development minister, said it was about time the people made an in-depth evaluation on the opposition’s struggles and objectives.

He said the public should have realised by now, that the opposition pact would not be able to bring about any change, let alone prosperity, if they were to rule the country.

In JITRA, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the implementation of hudud law should not be “seasonal”.

He said, the issue should not be used by any quarters, especially political parties, to gain support during elections.

“When talking about hudud, we have to understand the scope. It’s the implementation, not the rhetoric. It’s not about who is gaining more political mileage,” he told reporters when met at the 25th convocation of Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Polytechnic here today.

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