Malaysia’s unity, freedoms at risk with hudud Bill, interfaith group warns

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 ― The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) expressed today its opposition to the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016, and warned that the proposed law risks weakening the country’s constitutional liberties, including religious freedom.

Malaysia’s umbrella body representing non-Muslim religions urged Putrajaya to withdraw its support for the private member’s Bill tabled by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Parliament last week.

“It has the potential to undermine religious freedom and fundamental liberties as enshrined in Part II of the Constitution. The Non-Muslim’s position too would be in jeopardy under Hudud and they would not have equal rights if implemented,” the group said in a statement.

MCCBCHST said it was “aghast” at Umno minister Datuk Seri Azalina Said Othman’s complicity to expedite Hadi’s Bill through the Dewan Rakyat and reminded the Najib administration that all past five prime ministers had rejected previous attempts to introduce hudud law into a multiracial and multireligious nation because it would have jeopardised the position of the non-Muslim communities.

It urged the government not to ignore the advice of the past five prime ministers and the history of the country.

“Our former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had warned the PAS government of Kelantan in 1994 against introducing Hudud Law in the State because ‘Hudud Law punishes victims while actual criminals were often left off with minimum punishment,” it said. Read more

Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill and its implications — Jaharberdeen Mohamed Yunoos

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAHARBERDEEN MOHAMED YUNOOS

Malaysian Parliament - MMO File pic

Malaysian Parliament – MMO File pic

MAY 30 — There are essentially three dimensions to the Private Member’s Bill sought to be passed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, which the government graciously allowed to jump queue in the list of matters to be debated in Parliament.

First is the political dimension where PAS is clearly trying to achieve a political score with the Malay voters.  It has been widely publicising it is willing to work with anyone to achieve its “Islamic goal”.  In this case, if the Bill succeeds, PAS will have the “glory” in political history as the party which was responsible for “enhancing the status of Shariah courts” and for paving the way for further implementation of  Islamic criminal law.

If it does not succeed in passing the Bill, Umno MPs will be accused of being insincere and “opposed to Islamic laws”.  Clearly, in this game, PAS gets the credit either way with the general Malay voters.

Politically, Umno therefore is “snookered” unless it can bring the issue up to another completely different intellectual and political level which I am afraid Umno is incapable of due to misconceived fear and other reasons.

Secondly, the Constitutional dimension.  As a matter of parliamentary courtesy, it is admirable the government has given way to a Private Member’s Bill from the Opposition to be heard before government business, which always takes precedence. I believe this is the first time and as the Parliament speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin repeatedly tried to educate the opposing members from the Opposition, this is a precedent. Read more