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Almost 60% of M’sians think country not ready for hudud
17-Jul-2014, todayonline.com

Only 25% believe country is ready to introduce the Islamic penal law

KUALA LUMPUR — While Malay Malaysians show high support for the hudud — or Islamic penal law — the majority of citizens feel the country is not ready to implement it, a survey by an independent pollster has found.

Only 25 per cent of those polled by Merdeka Center for Opinion Research believed Malaysia was ready to introduce the Islamic penal law, while 59 per cent said the country was not ready yet. Overall, 53 per cent of Malaysians support the hudud, including 71 per cent of Malay respondents and only 26 per cent of Chinese and Indian respondents.

“Among Malay respondents, the survey found high support for hudud and yet, at the same time, low level of readiness to see it implemented,” Merdeka Center said in a release yesterday.

“In our opinion, this possibly reflects their desire to conform to established norms about the primacy of the Syariah laws at a personal level but, at the same time, indicates hesitation to see it fully implemented publicly.”

The survey found the highest level of support for hudud among Malay voters under the age of 30, consistent with Merdeka Center’s findings in its 2011 study of Muslim youth sentiments, the pollster added.

Those with Internet access, earning more than RM5,000 (S$1,950) a month and working in the government sector are more likely to support the hudud, the survey found.

The issue of hudud has been controversial in Malaysia, most notably with the Islamist Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) pushing for its adoption in Kelantan — which it has governed since 1990 — pending amendments to the country’s laws to allow for it.

Last month, Selangor state assemblymen from the United Malays National Organisation — the leading member of the governing Barisan National coalition — also pushed for a study on the implementation of hudud in the state.

The issue has also raised the spectre of a split in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition, with Democratic Action Party leaders last month warning that this could happen if PAS continues to push for the implementation of hudud, noting that it has never been part of PR’s common policy framework.

Merdeka Center’s survey also found that, overall, only 32 per cent believed hudud could be implemented fairly at the present time.
The Malay community was split on this issue, with 44 per cent saying the implementation would be fair, while 43 per cent said it would not.

Only 11 per cent of Chinese and 17 per cent of Indian respondents said it would be fair.

On what hudud was about, 56 per cent of Malaysians polled— of which 67 per cent were Malay, 38 per cent were Chinese and 51 per cent were Indian — said they understood the law.

Merdeka Center interviewed via telephone 1,009 voters aged 21 and above, from all states across Peninsular Malaysia. They had been randomly selected through stratified sampling, with respondents proportional to the population of parliamentary constituencies.

The survey was conducted from April 12 to April 21.


© 2007 Merdeka Center. All rights reserved
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