Something Very Strange Is Going On – Public Caning In Malaysia

On 13th July 2017, the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly unanimously passed an amendment to the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002. However, this revised enactment has yet to receive royal assent.

This was to allow caning in full public view for Syariah offences which were previously witnessed only by prison officials. Four types of offences include sodomy, illicit sex (zina), alcohol consumption and false accusation of zina. Law applicable for Muslims only.

As a non-Muslim and a concerned Malaysian, these are my observations.

1 Aceh Public-Caning - Cameras

1. Caning In Aceh – Reverting From ‘Public’ To Private

Two months ago, Aceh (Indonesia) implemented ‘public’ canings in response to demands by its Islamic hardliners. Since then, canings were carried out in full public view in front of the mosque after prayers for Syariah offenders.

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Why is Aceh now reverting the ‘public’ canings back to the privacy of prison walls? Has our Muslim scholars, politicians and assemblymen consulted the Muftis in Aceh as to enquire what went wrong?

3 Surah 24.2

2. What Does The Holy Qu’ran Say?

“The (unmarried) woman or (unmarried) man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of ALLAH, if you believe in ALLAH and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.” Surah 24:2

FYI, the videos and images of the ‘public’ canings in my blog are sourced from Google, Facebook and Youtube. What does the “group of believers” mean? Does it include ALL the 7 billion people in the world today?

I note that the punishment of caning is stipulated (only for zina) and necessary for moral education. But what about caning in full public view in the Internet era? Is that why Aceh is retreating so fast?

Then why are PAS and UMNO politicians pushing ahead and blatantly ignoring the facts? What are their real motives?

3. The Internet Is Forever

If the new enactments receive royal assent, Kelantan will be the only state in Malaysia and in the world which mandate canings implemented ‘publicly’. I have omitted the ISIS in Iraq and Raqqa Syria because many Muslims don’t even consider them Islamic.

While Syariah offenders in other Malaysian states will undergo ‘private’ canings thus sparing them the public humiliation from the unbelievers.

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Imagine the shame, opprobrium, disgrace and dishonour borne by the Muslimin and Muslimat. To be a hot topic of discussion amongst the non-believers. In the neighbourhood, in the marketplace and in the office. Is this what the Holy Qu’ran commanded?

The lashings are video-recorded on Facebook and Youtube; to be viewed by millions. “Selama-lamanya”, forever is a very long time. Try Google image searching with the keywords “Aceh” or “Islamic State” and “caning”.

4. Malaysia’s Supreme King

As The Yang DiPertuan Agong of Malaysia, Sultan Muhammad V is the Head of ISLAM for Kelantan, Federal Territories, Penang, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak.

5a sultan kelantan

Sultan Muhammad V is deeply loved by the people of Malaysia. It is true that His Majesty has a very special place in the hearts of the Kelantanese.

5b sultan kelantan

Is it because the Kelantanese are so loved that they are given far exceeding than the doctor’s prescribed dosage?

Is caning done publicly for full viewing for the unbelievers (ready with their mobiles and camcorders), only for Kelantan’s ummah’s own good?

How will His Majesty explain to his subjects….. that Muslims in Kelantan are different from the Muslims in FT, Penang, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak….. hence they deserve different treatments.

5. Time To Expose Secret Agendas

What are the PAS and UMNO politicians secretly thinking? Something very strange is going on. Indeed!!!

Don’t they know that this amendment will disconnect the Kelantanese grassroots from their Malay Ruler?

Don’t they know that enactment (if passed into law) will discolour the international image of our beloved King, the YDP AGONG who is the Head of ISLAM in the Nation-State of Malaysia?

PAS & UMNO politicians claims to champion the royal institution and uphold the dignity of ISLAM. But their political posturing have a hidden agenda.

6. Judicial Discretion For Whom?

Kelantan’s Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah says, “Caning can now be carried out inside prison or outside prison, depending on court decision.”

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This means that the Syariah Court Magistrate or Judge has the discretionary power, to vary, to be selective – as to who receives publicity.

This leads to the unhealthy inference and (mis)perception; rightly or wrongly; that the rich and powerful (offenders) could receive favourable treatment.

Neither PAS or UMNO politicians have explained why the Judicial exception (or escape clause) is present if ‘public’ caning is a divine command as they so claimed. Where is the perception of fairness; that all Muslims are equal before the Islamic law?

7 20170714 Star - Zahid_Keep it in perspective

Deputy PM Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is not addressing the real issues. Obviously this new law does not apply to non-Muslims.

7. Prime Minister’s Office

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) have failed to exercise thought leadership on behalf of His Majesty, our beloved AGONG.

Perhaps it is now time to establish His Majesty’s royal think-tank which is independent of the PMO or politicians.

Patriotic thought leaders who are loyal to His Majesty’s cause will answer the call to chart the future of Malaysia.

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Kings Are Disappearing From The Earth

Many countries in the world once had monarchs. But alas, they are no more.

China’s last emperor abdicated on 12 Feb 1912, following Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolution.

After World War 1, Russia forced its last Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate in 15 March 1917.

To the casual observer, China and Russia had become godless regimes by turning into communist governments.

The India And Pakistan Experience

Just recently, I blogged of the disengagement of Colonial British from India in 1947. This led to the newly-created independent nation-states of both India and Pakistan.

We saw how India consolidated about 565 princely states into one nation state. The Hindu Maharajahs had to sign Instruments of Accession to join India.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Rulers known as Nawabs who were kings of Muslim princely states; they also signed Instruments of Accession to join Pakistan.

Thus, we see an unmistakable manifestation of human psychology.

The Hindu-majority states preferred to join India. India prides itself as secular but it is strongly Hindu in many aspects.

[ The Hindu Maharajahs of Hyderabad and Kalat opted for self-independence in 1947 but their states were annexed by the Indian military in 1948. ]

On the other hand, the Muslim-majority states preferred to join Muslim Pakistan.

What does this really say?

Firstly, religion will rule human hearts and become a strong factor in politics.

Secondly, the independence of India and Pakistan saw the dissolution of nearly 600 monarchies.


Case Study – Junagadh

Junagadh is a Hindu-majority populace with a Muslim Ruler. Its Nawab decided to merge Junagadh into Pakistan but was fiercely resisted by the Hindu majority. This led to a referendum and eventual integration of Junagadh into India.


Case Study – Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim-majority populace with a Hindu Maharajah named Hari Singh. He signed the Instrument of Accession to join India in 1947. This led to war between India and Pakistan, resulting in a split state of Kashmir. Here, we see Muslim citizens’ expectations to be ruled by Islamic law in a Muslim government.

History Lessons

In 1971, Indian PM Indira Gandhi derecognized the Maharajahs by revising the Constitution. The Government of Pakistan also derecognized the Nawabs in 1972.

So the Muslim Nawabs did not fare any better than the Hindu Maharajahs.


Politicians no matter the colour of their skin – are capricious creatures of self-interests.

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

The Malaysia Experience

Malaysia is blessed to have a monarchy who is God-fearing  and righteous.

We must guard against our politicians who will try to usurp the role of our King.

I say this again. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

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Is Malaysia An Islamic Nation? Part 7 of 7

I admit that this topic has been the subject of intense debate in the social media. Let’s examine the clues to the perplexing question.

(I) The Head of the nine Malay States are Muslim Rulers.

(II) The majority of the citizens of Malaysia are Muslims.

(III) The official religion of Malaysia’s Constitution is ISLAM.

(IV) The Supreme King, The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) is Muslim.

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My Humble Opinion

This is my personal opinion that as at 31st August 1957, our Independence Day.

* The Malay Rulers had ceded only the civil administration of the Government;

* The Malay Rulers have fully retained their responsibilities as the Head of ISLAM, which is the official religion of Malaysia.

* Based on the above (I), (II), (III) and (IV), I am fully convinced that Malaysia is an Islamic nation.

* Muslims have the inalienable right to be governed by Islamic laws and such laws like RUU355 does not apply to non-Muslims.

Islam in Malaysia is represented by the Shafi’i version of SUNNI theology and jurispudence. In layman’s term, this is a moderate and progressive form of ISLAM endorsed by the Malay Rulers.

I am also grateful that non-Muslims in Malaysia are accorded the freedom of faith and worship. Hence, all other religions and its adherents must grant Islam the rightful place of esteem and respect.

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Final Message

We are well aware that politicians in Malaysia face a huge perception of mega corruption. There has been social talk that if the current civil government falls in GE14, hence ISLAM will also fall. This is absolutely nonsense.

Our Malay Sultans and The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is the strong bastion and defender of ISLAM. The position of the Malay Rulers and the preeminence of ISLAM is enshrined immutable in our Constitution.

Malaysia must not sink in the sea of corruption. We must break away from the past. Without our corrupt politicians.

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The Story Of Malaya ~ Part 6 of 7

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The British Empire established its web of power over its colonies around the world since the 1800s. Primarily to control the supply of natural resources for trade and industry.

Pre-independent Malaya became the largest producer of natural rubber and tin in the world. The credit of wealth creation was due to the British’s administration. The mining of tin attracted Chinese immigrants while the tapping of rubber attracted Indian immigrants.


The British had never sought to convert its colony’s religion to the British Empire’s Anglican Church of England. The Sultans were the spiritual leaders of Islam in their respective states while freedom of religion was accorded to all.

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Malaysia’s 1st PM Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s 1st AGONG Tuanku Abdul Rahman, with the Last Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir MacGillivray.

Background Of Pre-Independent Malaya

Pre-Independent MALAYA had just suffered tremendously under the brutal Japanese occupation during World War 2. After that, even the benign British rule was seen as subservient.

6 - Malaya Japanese

It was a rallying cry for “Malaya to be governed by Malayans”; the cry could no longer to be suppressed.

6 - Malaya Independence

In year 1957, 9 Malay States (with ruling sultanate) and 2 States without Sultans (Penang and Melaka) formed MALAYA. Winning independence from the British.

In 1963, Malaya became Malaysia; after being joined by North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore. Singapore eventually left the federation in 1965.

The first Prime Minister of Malaysia is Tunku Abdul Rahman who is of royal blood; being the seventh son of the Sultan of Kedah.

6 Sultans

The Malay Sultanate

The title of “Sultan” originated from an Arabic abstract noun. Meaning authority, power, rulership and strength.


The nine Malay Rulers were immensely popular with their subjects. They were the living symbols of Malay identity and culture.


More importantly, Their Royal Majesties are the spiritual leaders of Islam in their respective states. Indeed, the religion of ISLAM is the foundation of the Malay kingdom.

Since 1957, The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong enjoys a veto power (*via his royal assent) to block “new laws” or “ammendments” to the Constitution. However, this veto power was removed in 1993 by the ruling political parties.

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Comparing India To Malaysia. Part 5 of 7

5 - India flag

India and Malaysia share the same journey of learning; both being former British colonies. Even some parts of Malaya’s first Constitution were modeled after India’s Constitution.

The British granted independence to India in 15th August 1947; while Malaya (now Malaysia) won independence in 31st August 1957.

India became a democratic republic where the President is the Head of State; while the Prime Minister is the chief of the Executive branch.

Malaysia became a Constitutional Monarchy where the SUPREME KING AGONG is the Head of State. The Prime Minister is the chief of the Executive branch. Democratic elections are held every five years.

5 - India map

What Happened To The Original Monarchs In India?

After World War 2, BIG BECAME BEAUTIFUL and size was crucial for strategic survival.

In 1947, India had to consolidate about 565 princely states into one nation state. Persuading the Hindu Maharajahs to relinguish power to the federal government.



Their British colonial masters assisted in the crucial negotiations with the Maharajahs. The 565 Maharajahs signed instruments of accession to join India. In exchange; they were allowed their “Maharajah” titles, special privileges and a privy State-purse.

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Indian Prime Minister from 1947 – 1964. While Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India.



The Winds Of Change.

Then in 1971, there was a power showdown. Indian PM Indira Gandhi with massive support of other politicians; ordered the rewriting of India’s State Constitution.

As a result, the former Maharajahs became ordinary citizens and it was now illegal to use the “Maharajah” title. Their financial lifeline were also cancelled.

On hindsight, Their Royal Majesties gave up their 565 kingdoms – just to become paupers and to die penniless.

Most of all, it taught the former Maharajahs (and us) that politicians can never ever be trusted.

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Democracy And Republic ~ Part 4 of 7

4 - Democracy 1

I have chosen these topics because many of our peers in this generation are born after World War II. Many issues need to be considered in perspective and context.

In the written history of mankind, most of the countries in the world have always been ruled by monarchs or kings.

After World War 2 ended in 1945, many nations started transitioning to new forms of government – being democracies and republics.

In these new forms of government; the majority vote of the nation’s citizens in General Elections determine:-

* the kind of State laws that they want to govern themselves;

* the leaders that they want to lead the State.

4 - Federal Constitution

Constitutional Monarchy

In a democracy, the king is retained as the Head of State.

The extend of powers of the king is as defined in the State Constitution.

In a republic, the President is elected to function as the Head of State.

Singapore’s President has strong veto powers to block the abuse of the nations’ strategic financial reserves.

Both the #Democracy and #Republic State Constitution define that the three branches of government serve under the #Monarch or the #President respectively.


The Three Branches Of Government.

The doctrine of the separation of powers is to provide the constitutional checks and balances. This is for the proper functioning of the State.

It ensures that each branch of government acts with integrity; and effectively; and without the abuse of its defined powers.

4 - Najib

(I) The Executive. The Prime Minister is usually the head of the coalition of political parties. He appoints his cabinet of ministers, usually from his allies who are legislators in the Parliament.

4 - Parliament

(II) The Parliament. Members of Parliament are voted in by the people during General Elections. MPs legislate new laws or amend current laws to be enacted into the Acts of Parliament.

4 Judiciary laws 2

(III) The Courts. Judges are appointed by the Head of State/ The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. The Judiciary interpret the laws of Parliament and makes judicial judgments to be enforced. The Courts can also rule against the Executive or the Legislative Assembly.

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A Benevolent King Inspires Loyalty ~ Part 3 of 7

2 - Agong Muhammad V

Amongst different kings, I have found that some have special qualities that connect them to their people. their subjects.

* Like a loving father, he cares for his people and is touched by their suffering.

* Like a walled city and fortress, he is their protector from bandits and pirates.

* Like a defender of justice, he is a guardian especially to the fatherless and widows.


The Olden Days & Modern Times

Peace and security were guaranteed to the people. Everyone had the right to livelihood. To enjoy the fruits of their labour. Creating wealth from commerce and industry.

This was in exchange for yearly tributes to the king or income taxes for the running of the government. Indeed, the realm of the kingdom belonged to the royal family.

Citizens of the kingdom had to pledge their undivided allegiance, faithfulness and loyalty to their sovereign king.

In event of war, citizens must volunteer their fathers, husbands and sons to fight as soldiers. To repel attacks, sometimes sacrifices were made, even at the cost of their lives.

3 - Career Soldiers

In the modern world, most of the nations’ armies are full-time career soldiers. This was necessary because modern warfare incorporates a high level of technology and software.

The personnel manning the military, navy, airforce and intelligence – needs to be disciplined and trained in a wide spectrum of expertise.

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Kings And Kingdoms ~ Part 2 of 7

2 - UN Flags

Today, the United Nations (UN) has 193 member nations. 44 nations still retain monarchies or kings as their Head of State. This includes:-

2 - Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II, age 91.

(I) United Kingdom/ Great Britain. This is a constitutional monarchy. The Queen inherited the throne at the age of 26 years old. Her Royal Majesty is also the Head of the Commonwealth of 52 member nations which were its former colonies.

2 - King Salman

King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, age 81.

(II) Saudi Arabia. This is an absolute monarchy. King Salman is the Custodian of two of the most holiest sites in Islam, being Mecca and Medina. The Kingdom of Al Saud was established in 1932 by King Ibn Saud.

3 - Sultan Muhammad V

Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Muhammad V, age 48.

(III) Malaysia. This is a constitutional monarchy. Sultan Muhammad V hails from Kelantan which is one of the 9 Malay Sultanate in Malaysia. The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is elected to a 5-year term in office through the Conference of Malay Rulers.

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Historical Perspective.

In the history of the world, the king was the Head of State, above the Constitution of the State. This meant that the word of the king was the highest law.

His Royal Majesty had the ultimate power to pardon or to forgive transgressions. Those who disobeyed the royal decree or insulted the king were charged with lese majesty. The offender’s family were also possibly exiled in the olden days.

Transition of the kingdom’s rule was hereditary or by inheritance. Meaning that only a person of royal blood can reign on the throne of the kingdom. This does not preclude rivalry for the crown within the royal family.

In the Bible, there are also many stories of kings and kingdoms. For example, King David and King Solomon were also prophets who had a personal connection to God. [also known as Nabi Daud & Nabi Sulaiman in the Qu’ran]

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What Is The Role And Relevance Of Kings Today? Part 1

1 - Kings

I had always been fascinated by the role of kings. Indeed the function of the king had transformed so much since historical times.

These mini-articles are my personal attempt to trace the evolutionary role of the monarchy. Thank you for sharing my journey of discovery.

Quick Links

What Is The Role And Relevance Of Kings Today? Part 1


Kings And Kingdoms ~ Part 2 of 7


A Benevolent King Inspires Loyalty ~ Part 3 of 7


Democracy And Republic ~ Part 4 of 7


Comparing India To Malaysia ~ Part 5 of 7


The Story Of Malaya And Malaysia ~ Part 6 of 7


Is Malaysia An Islamic Nation? Part 7 of 7


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