The thorny issue of hudud – Zainah Anwar

Source: The Star Online



Eye of the storm: As far as Abdul Hadi and PAS are concerned, they have ‘won’ the first step in implementing its brand of hudud. Pic taken from The Star Online.

PAS’ hudud always been a divisive issue which led to the breakup of Pakatan Rakyat. Now, it is a bigger threat.

CABINET Ministers who support the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 355 may continue to claim that it is not the prelude to enforcing hudud in Malaysia.

But as far as Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and PAS are concerned, they have checkmated Umno. It is the gateway to implementing hudud in Kelantan that they had strategised for – without having to amend the Federal Constitution.

In October 2011, PAS set up a technical committee on hudud and appointed a Constitutional lawyer to prepare a working paper. The strategy was to amend federal laws which needed only a simple majority, rather than going for a Constitu­tional amendment which would need a two-thirds majority which they knew they could not muster.

In April 2014, the new Kelantan Menteri Besar announced the plan to table two Private Member’s Bills to enable the Syariah Criminal Code II (1993), the so-called hudud law of Kelantan, to be enforced.

The tabling of the amendment to Act 355 to remove the limits on punishments that the Syariah Courts can impose will now open the way for any state in Malaysia to enhance the punitive powers of the syariah system.

Currently, Syariah Courts can impose a maximum of three years’ imprisonment, a fine of RM5,000 or six strokes of the rotan.

This amendment now removes this jurisdictional limit and replaces it with “any sentence allowed by Islamic law” other than the death penalty. This will then enable the Kelantan state government to impose hudud punishments of up to 100 lashes and amputation of hand and foot. Read more

Heed Wake-Up Call to Establish a Comprehensive National Child Protection Policy — Malaysian Bar


Heed Wake-Up Call to Establish a Comprehensive National Child Protection Policy

The Malaysian Bar is aghast at the recent public disclosure that close to 200 young and vulnerable children, aged between 6 months and 12 years, were systematically sexually abused over a period of almost nine years between March 2006 and December 2014, by a British citizen residing in Malaysia.

All the children preyed upon by the paedophile, Richard Huckle — now branded “Britain’s worst paedophile” — were pre-pubescent vulnerable children from minority ethnic communities into which he had ingratiated himself. The paedophile was able to gain access to the children, including those living in shelter homes, by posing as a student, a photographer, an English teacher and/or a philanthropist. He offered to help with the children’s education, when in fact he was systematically abusing the children.

The paedophile was arrested by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Authority (“NCA”) on his arrival at Gatwick Airport in London in December 2014. He was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, 71 counts of child sex offences in the United Kingdom. On 7 June 2016, he was sentenced to 22 life sentences to be served concurrently. He now faces a minimum jail term of 23 years and 242 days. Read more