KLANG: Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad was fined RM2,900 in lieu of three months’ jail after being found guilty last month for teaching Islam without credentials over a talk he gave at a surau in Kapar in 2011.
The fine means that Khalid would be disqualified as an MP under Article 48 (1) (e) of the Federal Constitution.
Under the Article 48 (1) (e), an MP can be disqualified if he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or before Malaysia Day in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than RM2,000 and has not received a free pardon.
The Amanah communications director was charged under Section 119 (1) of the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment which provides for a fine of up to RM3,000 or a maximum jail term of two years, or both, upon conviction.
Syariah judge Mohd Hairuddin Ab Rahim said the fine was meted out after taking into account mitigation from both sides.
“The Syariah court took into account the age, health, his position as an MP for Shah Alam along with his contributions to society.
“While the court took into account that this was his first offence, the sentence should serve as a deterrent for others not to commit the offence in future,” he said in his judgment.
Meanwhile, Khalid told reporters that he has instructed his counsel Dr Dzulqarnain Lokman to file an appeal to reduce the fine at the Syariah High Court.
“In addition, I have instructed my lawyer Hanipa Maidin to appeal against the constitutionality of the offence at the Federal Court,” he told reporters when met at outside the court complex, here, yesterday.
Expected to face an uphill battle regarding the constitutional challenge, Khalid said his lawyer will be presenting his case from a different angle.
“I am well aware of the case decision involving Fathul Bari in 2012.
“Therefore, my lawyer will be approaching the challenge from a different viewpoint,” he added.
In the case between preacher Fathul Bari Mat Jahya and architect Nik Amirul Faiz Nik Md Yusof, against the Negri Sembilan Islamic Religious Council, the Federal Court in 2012 declared that Section 51 (1) of the Negri Sembilan Syariah Criminal Enactment 1992 that makes it an offense for a Muslim to teach without credentials as valid and constitutional.
This after both Fathul Bari and Nik Amirul Faiz had been convicted earlier for teaching Islam without credentials at the Maahad Ittiba Sunnah, KM1.5, Jalan Lama Seremban-Kuala Pilah on Feb 28, 2010.