Has Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) started to be a Big Brother with the launch of its recent app which allows the public to report on those who flout the syariah laws?
Could it be abused, as is wont to be with monitoring devices, especially when religion is involved and it only affect half of society, as this app would be only for reporting on Muslims?
Questions also arise as to whether non-Muslims would be able to report on Muslims who flout the law.
Also, why is it that Jais would want a public eye on whatever the Muslims are doing, do they not have enough officers? Worse, do they not believe that God can see all and that Islam has this thing called “no self admitting to a crime”?
The mobile application, simply called the JAIS Hotline, is to be downloaded from the Google Playstore and is said to allow the public to easily report any crimes that contravene syariah laws where JAIS is hopeful that the Department would appear more approachable to the public.
Says lawyer Dr Zulqarnain Lukman, the hotline mobile application is a good move but providing that the application is created with adequate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
“It is too early to tell if the mobile application would invite any negative setbacks but I think over time we will know.
“I’m not sure what is the SOP (standard operating procedures) set for the mobile application, but if I were the one who created it, I would ensure that its SOP includes criminal proceedings.
Zulqarnain who is also Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) legal team bureau chief, further says if the criminal proceedings are not followed then the mobile application may not be as effective as it is expected to be.
“Prank reports are bound to happen but if proper SOPs are put in place, these are not likely to happen.
“I would expect the person who made the report be contacted for verification of the crime reported before deploying a team to a said location or before the authorities decide on taking action.
“Details such as the person’s contact number and name must be listed in the reported filed in order for the authorities to follow-up on a case’s genuinity,” he says.
The mobile application according to Zulqarnain is timely to keep up with technology and the digital age, however the government still needs to monitor usage of the application to avoid it from abuse.
“There are many mobile applications that have been created by the government for several of its agencies but these mobile applications need to be monitored and made sure that they are do not turn into a redundant tool,” he adds.
“No, I believe it will not reduce the urgency when a crime is reported. That is why I said the government needs to be diligent in conducting relevant follow-ups on the cases that are being reported to them and not act upon impulse,” says Zulqarnain.
The Star reported that JAIS’ director Datuk Haris Kasim says that complainants would need to provide substantial information before their report was acted on.
“They will need to fill up a form which requires certain details. If the form is incomplete, we cannot go ahead with the inquiry,” he said in reports.
He added that proof of any alleged crime needed to be provided as well where it includes photographic proof would also be accepted.
Haris added that the app was not only for lodging complaints, and could also be used to obtain information on anything related to syariah law and Islam.
Soo Wern Jun