Some Malaysian politicians want the Islamic Courts’ sentencing power to be expanded. That is to amend the enactment Act 355 of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.
Soon, religious police will roam the streets and storm private bedrooms to ensure that Muslims do not misbehave. What use is the legislation of Act 355 if it is not enforced at all?
* 3 years to 30 years jail. Increase of 1,000%
* RM5,000 to RM100,000 fine. Increase of 2,000%
* 6 strokes to 100 strokes of the cane. Increase of 1,666%
We have heard of the reputation of the Mutaween vice squad in Saudi Arabia. They are on fire with incorruptible zeal.
Link to Mutaween. https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Mutaween
This has created feelings of unrest among non-Muslims and Muslims alike. PAS politicians have been struggling to explain that the empowerment of Act 355 does not apply to non-Muslims.
Even former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim had this to say, “The RUU 355 does not involve the non-Muslims at all. Why should they worry?”
Well, that is the truth but with a ‘twist’.
It is said that the Syariah Courts in PAS-ruled Kelantan are only for Muslims. By the way, this is PAS’ own version of the law as it so interpreted.
Non-Muslims cannot appear before Syariah Judges or seek legal redress in Syariah Courts for grievances afflicted by Muslims upon non-Muslims. Unless they convert to Islam.
The testimony of non-Muslim witnesses are also not accepted. Thus inferring that even a non-Muslim public official of integrity – his solemn statement made under oath is almost worthless.
Some reports also suggested that the testimony of a female Muslim witness is worth only half the value of a Muslim man. The reasons for this gender bias is still unclear.
An empowered Islamic Act 355 will create a dual legal system in Malaysia. One code draws from the Qu’ran and the Hadiths’ text from the 7th century.
The other civil code is open and inclusive – drawing from the best judgments of the judicial minds in the Commonwealth.
Whether the Islamic system can co-exist coherently with the civil system remains to be seen.
Even our IGP Tan Sri Khalid Bakar had his moments of uncertainty. It so happened when there were two conflicting court orders from the Syariah Court and the Civil Court respectively. Which one court order should the police enforce?
This was in the case of a divorce cum child custody case where the husband was a Muslim convert and the wife a Hindu. The marriage was consumnated under Hindu rites when both were still Hindus.
Former CJ Ahmad Fairuz said that anything that is in contradiction to Islam or anything that went against Islamic laws’ main sources, which are the Quran and Sunnah, is unconstitutional. This was his personal interpretation.
Former CJ speaks to NST. http://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/03/224249/laws-contradiction-islamic-laws-are-void-says-former-chief-justice
Remember this. When your former Chief Justice tells you that Act 355 does not “involve” non-Muslims, it doesn’t mean that it will not “affect” non-Muslims.
Finally, do you see the ‘twist’?