COMMENT I ask this question of the Malays—the timid and false Malays. There has been almost total silence from those in the Malay community who are against hudud, with the exception of former Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) executive chairperson Ani Arope and a few lawyers I know.
What has become of the rest? Do they really want their children’s hands and feet to be amputated for theft, for drinking a glass of beer, for illicit sexual intercourse?
I cannot believe the behaviour of this bunch of Malays. They likely committed one or more of these offences at some stage in their lives and yet now they say nothing? Why are they so afraid to speak up?
According to the 1993 Kelantan Bill, stealing anything worth more than RM2,000 would merit hudud punishment. Most bicycles cost more than that nowadays. Do these Malays want to cut off people’s hands for this petty offence?
Does this sound fair and just, when we all know that over the years billions of ringgit have been stolen from the national coffers through other mechanisms that do not amount to “theft”? Are these Malays so bereft of compassion? Have they lost all sense of fairness? It seems particularly odd because they are now suddenly so God-fearing.
Have they not had a few beers or glasses of whisky or brandy at some point in their lives? I know of some powerful Malays who are still alive who were once quite happy to have Campari soda and expensive wine - they were lucky there was no hudud then.
They were also able to afford to drink mostly overseas, but they give no thought to those who have to go to the local coffee shop for their glass of stout or beer. Shouldn’t these people be spared from hudud too?
As for illegal sexual activities, are these Malays trying to say they have not strayed at all, not even once in their lives? They shouldn’t be such hypocrites. Many of them who appear religious in appearance and speech actually have a big appetite for the opposite sex.
I know some of them too. When I was growing up in Kelantan we always crossed the Golok River for some fun, and there were thousands of others over the weekend. We were not looking for mangoes my friend, and PAS was in charge of the state government all that time.
So to these Malays who partake in some or all of the above hudud offences, may I suggest they take another good, long look at themselves. How long are they going to pretend that they live free of sin, and that they want the severest of punishments for others?
They will know the full effect of this “perfect justice” when one of their loved ones loses a limb - then they can come and talk to me about justice.
ZAID IBRAHIM is the former law minister of Malaysia. The above writing appears in his official blog The Zaidgeist today and is published in full by Malaysiakini.