The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hindusim, Sikhism and Taosim (MCCBCHST) today called on lawmakers to vote down PAS’s Shariah Bill, expressing fear that the Bill would ultimately give way to the implementation of hudud.
In an eight-page statement, the organisation lamented that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s suggested amendment to the existing Shariah law provision is too broadly defined, and indirectly gives rise to the implementation of hudud laws.
MCCBCHST said that under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 11 (1993) 2015 passed by the Kelantan state legislature last year, it is the hudud laws which are used to mete out punishments for offences such as theft, robbery, adultery, false accusation of adultery, sodomy, intoxication and heresay, crimes for which Hadi is seeking a broadening of the Shariah Courts punitive powers.
“Thus, if Hadi’s Bill is passed by Parliament, it would allow the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 11 (1993) 2015 to be implemented and to impose hudud punishments of theft, robbery, adultery, sodomy, etc.
“Thus, the proposed Hadi’s Private Members Bill is clearly a hudud Bill as it seeks to empower States to be able to introduce amendments empowering Syariah Courts to impose hudud punishments,” MCCBCHST said.
Hadi who is Marang MP, is seeking to introduce a new Section 2A into the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 to increase the Shariah Court’s power to pass sentences.
It seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, also known as Act 355, to empower Islamic courts to enforce punishments ― except for the death penalty ― provided in Shariah laws for Islamic offences listed under state jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution.
Critics of the Bill, including the Malaysian Bar, have continuously stressed that the proposed Bill is a hudud Bill as it proposed hudud punishments, though members of the Islamist party have rejected the claims.
MCCBCHST said that Hadi’s Bill is also unconstitutional, adding that history has already shown that Malaysia is a secular state.
“There appears to be no historical document to contradict the fact that Malaysia was intended to be a secular state,” the organisation added.
Both PAS and Umno have insisted that Hadi’s Bill is not hudud and only seeks to further empower the Shariah courts to deliver harsher sentences, but others have said it would pave the way for the Islamic penal code to exist in Malaysia.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also previously assured non-Muslims that the Bill would not affect those not professing Islam.
“The YAB Prime Minister is entitled to his opinion, but we beg to defer.
“The Kelantan Syariah Enactment Bill passed in 1995 as amended had by Section 56(2) of the Enactment given option to non-Muslims to come under its Jurisdiction.
“This option is clear violation of the Constitution, which has declared in List II Schedule 9 that Syariah Courts have jurisdiction only on Muslims,” MCCBCHST added.
Hadi’s Bil has been listed in the Order Papers for the next Parliament meeting beginning Monday.
The Bill is the fourth item on the agenda for the day, according to a copy of the Order Paper sighted by Malay Mail Online.
Hadi managed to table his Bill in the May sitting after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said submitted a motion to elevate the item, then 42nd and last in the final day’s order, above the government’s motions.
Hadi however, chose to defer the tabling to this meeting when given the option to do so by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
The Malay Mail Online