‘It will af­fect fab­ric of the na­tion’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer and ac­tivist Siti Kasim is not happy with hudud but PAS claims the amend­ments to Syariah Courts Crim­i­nal Ju­ris­dic­tion (Act 355) is only to “al­le­vi­ate” the syariah court.

“If the amend­ment goes through, it is a law ac­cord­ing to their in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

“Once it is in, it is never go­ing to be easy to take it out again,” she said, adding that even an ini­tia­tive to file a suit to de­ter PAS pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Ab­dul Hadi Awang from tabling the bill in Par­lia­ment last Novem­ber had failed.

“Al­though we knew our chances were min­i­mal be­cause of the priv­i­lege in Par­lia­ment, we wanted to make a point – to say that there are Malay-Mus­lims who do not agree with the pro­posed law.

“In fact the first draft tabled in Par­lia­ment did not re­move the word ‘death’. Only af­ter we sued say­ing that it was un­con­sti­tu­tional, it was amended and the word ‘death’ was re­moved,” Siti re­called.

She claimed Hadi was try­ing to bull­doze the bill through Par­lia­ment, when the bill’s tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee mem­bers Dr Zulqar­nain Luq­man and Dr Syam Ra­hayu re­port­edly said that the com­mit­tee had not ap­proved it yet.

“The duo said that the bill has a prob­lem and the com­mit­tee was not happy with it as it wanted the word­ing to be changed to be more spe­cific, which we have never heard be­fore,” Siti said.

It was also re­ported that the bill was re­jected by the (pre­coun­cil meet­ing of the) Con­fer­ence of Rulers.

“When that hap­pened, Hadi brought it to Par­lia­ment as a pri­vate mem­ber’s bill, with­out telling the com­mit­tee.

“If Malays can­not see what kind of a per­son Hadi is from this, then there is a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

“He went against the com­mit­tee which said this can­not work like this – th­ese words are too wide and will never be passed, so the com­mit­tee wanted to amend them,” Siti said.

She added that non-Mus­lims will be af­fected as there is no limit to the en­force­ment.

“For now they will say it is for Mus­lims but who is go­ing to stop them even­tu­ally?”

Siti said that if hudud is passed and im­ple­mented in the coun­try, it will even­tu­ally af­fect the whole fab­ric of the na­tion as en­force­ment will not only be lim­ited to Mus­lims.

“And once it is al­lowed, what will stop them? That is why I say peo­ple must be given a choice to be gov­erned ei­ther by civil or Is­lamic law.

“If peo­ple choose to be gov­erned by Is­lamic law then it is their right, but don’t force it on ev­ery­one. I want to see who will choose to be gov­erned un­der hudud,” she said.

Siti added there are pro­vi­sions on hudud in Tereng­ganu and Ke­lan­tan that are in vi­o­la­tion of the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion.

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