Focus on post-flood works, not hudud, voters tell Kelantan PAS

The December floods left a trail of destruction in many parts of Kelantan. Voters say the PAS-led state government should focus on post-flood reconstruction, not hudud. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 16, 2015.

The Malaysian Insider | 16-Mar–2015 – A majority of voters in the peninsula said the PAS-led Kelantan government should focus on post-flood reconstruction, rather than its hudud law amendments.

Pollster Merdeka Center said in a statement today that its survey on 1,008 voters interviewed over the telephone showed that 84% think the state government should concentrate on repairing and rebuilding homes of flood victims.

This is also the prevalent view of 81% Malay/Muslim respondents interviewed across the peninsula.

“It should be noted that the survey found this view prevalent across key Malay/Muslim demographics of gender, age groups and media consumers.
“This finding is also in line with Merdeka Center’s previous finding in a survey carried out in April 2014, which revealed that a majority (58%) of Malay respondents thought that the country is not ready for hudud implementation,” it said.

Merdeka Center said the Kelantan government’s pursuit of the hudud enactment now also would not improve its standing among the people of the state as well as the national Muslim electorate.

“This move recalls the party’s disastrous 2004 general election outing under the ‘Islamic State’ manifesto, which led to the fall of the PAS Terengganu government and near loss in Kelantan.”

Kelantan was hit by its worst floods in decades in December, with tens of thousands of people displaced. While the state struggles with post-flood reconstruction, the administration has yet to put its hudud enactment amendment plan on the back burner.

The survey comes as the state government plans to table its Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II 1993 amendments on Wednesday at its state legislative assembly sitting, despite the Pakatan Rakyat presidential council urging the PAS administration to re-evaluate the proposed revision last week.

The survey echoes a report by The Malaysian Inisder over the weekend where more local Kelantan folk are calling for their leaders – and the rest of the country – to shift their focus from hudud to bread-and-butter issues.

The survey found 78% Malay men and 83% Malay women agreeing that rebuilding flood victims’ homes should be prioritised over hudud. Of those in favour of reconstruction, 79% were urban residents while 82% were rural residents.

In terms of how the different races responded to the questions in the survey, only 11% of Malays, 2% of Chinese and 1% of Indians approved of the hudud enactment.

Regardless of where they work, more than 80% of all respondents were in favour of rebuilding flood-ravaged Kelantan over imposing hudud law in the state.

The survey also found 85% of voters working for the government or government-linked companies, and the private sector respectively agreeing that the focus should be on rebuilding the state.

In the survey, only 7% of the respondents approved of the hudud enactment while 8% said they were unsure.

Only 1% of the voters interviewed refused to answer when asked if they thought the state should focus on rebuilding homes and if they approved of the hudud enactment.

The survey involved 60% Malay voters and 30% Chinese. The rest were Indian voters.

The respondents, who came from all 12 states across the peninsula, were randomly selected along the lines of gender, ethnicity, age and parliamentary constituency. – March 16, 2015.

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Merdeka Center