The deputy president of PAS has come to the defence of the late Karpal Singh amid accusations of insulting Islam hurled at the veteran lawyer following his death in a car accident last week.
Instead, Mohamad Sabu (pic) reminded that it was former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had insulted the religion by belittling hudud, or the Shariah punishment for serious crimes, adding that Karpal had never insulted the Islamic laws but merely defended the Federal Constitution.
“I am perplexed why Muslims react this way when it was Muslims themselves who insulted hudud, such as the statement by the former prime minister that if hudud was implemented in Kelantan, many Muslims would lose their limbs," Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, told The Malaysian Insider in a recent interview.
“Karpal had never insulted (hudud). He had only said that it was against the Constitution," said Mat Sabu. Mat Sabu was referring to comments last week by Dr Mahathir on the plan by PAS to table the Private Members' Bill on hudud in the Dewan Rakyat.
Dr Mahathir had said Islamic laws should ensure justice and not be geared towards punishing offenders.
"There are Muslims and non-Muslims in our country. If a Muslim steals, his hand will be chopped off but when a non-Muslim steals, he goes to jail. Is that justice or not?" he asked, adding that "Soon, Muslims will have no hands".
Mat Sabu said he could not understand why Umno leaders who had come out strongly in opposition to PAS's plan to implement hudud in Kelantan had kept silent over Dr Mahathir's remarks.
“Why is it that when Muslims insulted hudud, I never heard any sharp comments from Umno leaders and the muftis?" asked Mat Sabu.
Mat Sabu, who together with Karpal and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders spent two years as detainees under the Internal Security Act (ISA) following their arrests in 1987, also slammed several insensitive remarks by politicians in the wake of Karpal's death, saying they did not reflect Islamic teachings.
“People who are stupid and arrogant still exist," said Mat Sabu, in referring to Langkawi MP Datuk Nawawi Ahmad's Facebook posting of pictures from the accident on April 17.
“Why is it that when Muslims insulted hudud, I never heard any sharp comments from Umno leaders and the muftis?"
Nawawi, who has since apologised, had asked if anyone would like to walk over Karpal's dead body, recalling a statement reportedly made by Karpal in 1990 that establishing an Islamic state would only be possible "over my dead body".
“His early comment shows his thinking even though he has apologised," Mat Sabu said of Nawawi.
Besides Nawawi, former Kulim Bandar Baru MP Datuk Zulkifli Noordin also posted a remark online following Karpal's death, saying God had removed the greatest opponent of hudud, and that Umno and PAS should now work together to ensure its implementation in Kelantan.
Karpal, who was DAP's Bukit Gelugor MP, was accorded a Penang state funeral on Sunday.
Tens of thousands paid their last respects at the Dewan Sri Pinang, before his coffin made its way in a large procession passing several landmarks significant in Karpal's life. – April 22, 2014.