PASâ€™ hudud push has little chance of getting past Parliament, judging from the number of party leaders on both sides of the political divide who are objecting to it.
Two Bills need to be passed in Parliament for hudud to become law â€“ one to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 and the other to amend Article 76A(1) of the Federal Constitution.
While the Bill on the Syariah Courts Act only needs a simple majority to pass, amending the Constitution will require the support of at least 148 of the 222 Members of Parliament (MPs) â€“ a two-thirds majority.
MCA, MIC, Gerakan, DAP, PKR and the Sabah and Sarawak parties whose leaders have come out to oppose hudud have 111 MPs in total.
PAS has 21 MPs. Umno has not stated its stand, but even if all 88 Umno MPs were to side with PAS, this would only add up to 109 votes.
The sole MP from Parti Sosialis Malaysia Dr Michael Jeyakumar, who was arrested during an anti-GST (Goods and Services Tax) rally on Monday and remanded, could not be contacted, but it is unlikely that he will support hudud.
It is also not known how Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is now an independent MP after being sacked from PKR, will vote.
Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee confirmed that any amendments to Article 76A(1) would require two-thirds support.
Universiti Teknologi Mara political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin believes PASâ€™ effort will be futile.
He said it was impossible for PAS to secure the support it needed because so many party leaders in Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat were against hudud.
â€œIt is tough also for PAS to get a simple majority,â€ he said.
He explained that even if all the Umno and PAS MPs band together, that figure would still be short of the 112 needed for a simple majority.
Umno MPs have yet to receive any instructions on how to vote in the event that PAS makes its move in Parliament.
Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah when contacted insisted that the two Bills only needed a simple majority to pass.
He said the proposed amendments to Article 76A(1) merely involved changing certain provisions.
â€œThere are differing views, but our lawyers and legal scholars say that such changes are not major so only a simple majority is required,â€ he said.-The Star