KUALA LUMPUR: Hudud was the main concern of participants of a moderation forum organised by a youth group here.
Three undergraduates voiced their fears on how hudud would affect the country and questioned the Government’s stance on the issue at the MCA Youth’s ‘Moderation Youth Empowerment and Education Towards Vision 2020’ forum at Wisma MCA here.
The keynote speaker at the forum, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, said that the default position of the Government was “no hudud”.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was last reported to have said that Malaysia was not ready for hudud.
“That was a decision that was made before,” he said, urging the public not to be worried.
The forum, which was targeted at university students, was organised by MCA Youth as part of the ‘What Youth Should Know’ programme.
Abdul Rahman also urged Malaysians to give the Prime Minister some time before issuing his promised statement on hudud, saying that he had to consider the views of the rakyat especially those from Sabah and Sarawak.
He reminded the participants of how Malaysia was formed.
“When the people of Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia, hudud was not on the table,” he said, adding that if hudud were to be implemented, it should first be agreed by Sabah and Sarawak.
He said the centre of political gravity in the country had already shifted to Sabah and Sarawak.
In his welcoming speech, MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon, said concerns over hudud were felt by all Malaysians and not just Muslims.
“The very first reaction from some Muslims is: Sorry Mr Chong, you are not Muslim and you cannot talk about hudud,” he said.
Chong said he was afraid to see Muslims and non-Muslims being torn apart by two separate legal systems.
“I want my fellow Muslim and non-Muslim countrymen to be treated fairly,” he said.
Another hot topic discussed at the forum was the Sedition Act and its impact on moderation in Malaysia.
Abdul Rahman quoted Spiderman in his answer: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
He said the proliferation of the Internet empowers Malaysians to express their freedom of speech yet some users choose to abuse it by spreading ridiculous lies online.
“Freedom in the hands of the childish few can endanger many,” Abdul Rahman said.
Abdul Rahman said the Government was responsible for keeping national security, which was the overriding consideration in retaining the Sedition Act.
He commended the organisers for holding the forum.