Doing right by women – Zainah Anwar

Source: The Star Online

By Zainah Anwar

THE gasps were audible. The cringing moments were painful. The visible displays of shock, disbelief and exasperation were worthy of Academy Awards.

Whether you looked to the front, back, left or right, it was clear that everyone, from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) Committee experts to the civil society activists and national human rights institution commissioners from different countries, was stunned by the Malaysian performance in Geneva.

And #CedawMalaysia was the second highest trending topic on Feb 20. Read more

More Muslim women seeking divorce because of abuse, SIS reveals

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 ― More Muslim women are initiating divorce from their husbands due to domestic violence, according to cases handled by Sisters in Islam’s (SIS) legal service.

Telenisa, a free legal service by the Muslim women’s rights group for both women and men, said almost half of the divorce cases it handled last year were “fasakh”, a method of divorce which is initiated by the wife.

According to Telenisa, 62 of its clients (47 per cent) sought “fasakh” last year, up from 27 clients in 2015. A total of 66 clients sought “fasakh” in 2014.

“Fasakh” has become the most opted type of divorce application by women as they generally become more aware of their rights within marriage.

“Consistently high numbers of domestic violence cases reported in our Telenisa statistics also show ‘fasakh’ as the most obvious type of divorce to institute,” the Telenisa team told Malay Mail Online in an interview. Read more

Report: Pahang mufti mulls public caning too if Kelantan succeeds

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 ― Pahang could also implement public caning for Shariah offences if it is shown to be effective in Kelantan.

Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Osman said the state will observe how Kelantan enforces public caning on Shariah offenders first, news portal Malaysiakinireported today.

“We will discuss it first. Perhaps, in future, after observing the developments in Kelantan on whether it is effective or not, then perhaps it can be (implemented in Pahang).

“If it has a big impact and can stop Muslims from gambling and make them become better people,” he was quoted as saying. Read more

Kelantan passes shariah law to allow for public caning

Source: FMT News

July 12, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The Kelantan state assembly today passed a law that allows for criminals in the state to be caned in public, New Straits Times reported.
The amendment made to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment allows courts the discretion to rule if the caning should be carried out in public or in prison, as has been the case previously.  Read more

Malaysian state approves public caning for Syariah offences

Source: Asian Correspondent

Kelantan has approved public caning which could see the implementation of the corporal punishment, similar to what is being carried out in this picture taken in Aceh, Indonesia. Source: Reuters

MALAYSIA’S northeastern state of Kelantan has made amendments to its religious Islamic laws to allow public caning against “criminals” who breach its strict Syariah code.

The New Straits Times quoted Kelantan Chief Minister Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah as saying the state legislative assembly had amended the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 to include public caning as an option for the state’s Islamic courts.

“However, with the amendment, the sentencing can be carried out in public or prison depending on the court’s decision. This is in accordance with Islam, as in the sentencing must be done in public,” he said after closing a state assembly session on Wednesday. Read more

Do we really need to strengthen Malaysia’s Syariah courts? – Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

BY ZAN AZLEE

A participant at the Himpunan RU355 rally at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, in support for the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. Source: ‏@zurairi.

A participant at the Himpunan RU355 rally at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, in support for the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. Source: ‏@zurairi.

YEARS ago when I was 19-years-old and still in university, my parents paid me a visit in the Kuala Lumpur capital and we spent the night having dinner and because it was late, I slept in their hotel room.

In the wee hours of the morning, we heard a loud knocking on the door.

All three of us woke up and my father opened the door to see three men standing there claiming to be officers from Jawi, or the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department.

It was Valentine’s night and they were on a raiding mission all around town trying to catch unmarried couples who were feeling a little bit too amorous on the mother of all amorous nights. The hotel that we were staying in was on their list. Read more

Syariah amendments constitutional, says former judge

Source: The Star Online

Retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said the [amended RUU355] Bill would be constitutional if the crimes it addressed did not overlap with matters included in the Federal List, including murder, rape, robbery and theft.

hudud judge forum

Retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof speaking at a lecture on the legality of the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355). Pic taken from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: Amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) are constitutional, but the proposed upper limits of its punishments are too high, warns retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.

He said attempting to set higher punishments through the Syariah courts would destroy the precepts that these courts were of limited power.

“Can it be done? Yes. Should it be done? No, I believe the upper limits are simply too high,” he said during a lecture on the legality of the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355). Read more

Constitutional Law Lecture Series – Second Lecture: “Amendments to Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 – Constitutional & Practical Issues”

constilawlectureseries

16 February 2017 · 5:30 pm—7:30 pm · Auditorium Tun Mohamed Suffian, Faculty of Law, UM

2ND LECTURE

“AMENDMENTS TO SYARIAH COURTS (CRIMINAL JURISDICTION) ACT 1965 — CONSTITUTIONAL & PRACTICAL ISSUES”

Guest Speaker: Dato’ Mohamad Ariff bin Md Yusof

Retired Court of Appeal Judge Mohamad Ariff Yusof - pic from FMT News

Retired Court of Appeal Judge Mohamad Ariff Yusof – pic from FMT News

Dato’ Mohamad Ariff bin Md Yusof is a retired Judge of the Court of Appeal, Malaysia. Beginning with a career as a law lecturer in 1974 and subsequently an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Malaya from 1974 to 1985, he then practised as an advocate and solicitor from 1986 and was one of the founding partners of Messrs. Cheang & Ariff. He took leave from legal practice between 1993 and 1995 to join the newly-formed Securities Commission of Malaysia and became the first Director of its Market Supervision Department. He became a Judicial Commissioner, High Court of Malaya in 2008, later a Judge of the High Court, and thereafter became a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2012. He retired from the Malaysian Judiciary in early 2015 and is currently a consultant at Messrs. Cheang & Ariff.


Background:

On 26 May 2016, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, President of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) presented a Private Member’s Bill in the Dewan Rakyat to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355). The move has re-ignited the ongoing debate over hudud in the country, with proponents of the Bill insisting that the Bill merely seeks to strengthen the powers of the Syariah Courts, and not about introducing hudud into the existing legal system. What exactly are the changes sought to be brought about by the Bill? Can the proposed changes be implemented within our existing constitutional framework? What are the constitutional implications and practical issues that could arise from the amendments, if any? To find out more, join us for the 2nd lecture in the Constitutional Law Lecture Series.


Program:

5:30 pm Registration
5:50 pm Welcome Speech by Organisers
6:00 pm 2nd Lecture by Dato’ Mohamad Ariff bin Md Yusof
7:00 pm Interactive Session
7:30 pm Light Refreshments

Sarawak PKR will keep opposing Hadi’s bill

Source: FMT News

Baru Bian - Pic from FMT News

Baru Bian – Pic from FMT News

By Richard T.W.

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR has vowed to oppose the bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, no matter what the national leaders of the party decide.

“Sarawak PKR is always consistent in the matter, notwithstanding the decision of the PKR leadership.

“Should the national leadership go against our stand, we will not budge,” state PKR leader Baru Bian told reporters today.

Last May, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang moved a private member’s bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355.

Last Friday, PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she recognised Hadi’s right as an MP to submit the bill and despite her reservations, she would hear Hadi’s explanation during the tabling of the bill next month. Read more

BEBAS petition MPs to vote against Hadi’s Bill

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BEBAS will hold a counter-rally against Himpunan 355 at Taman Jaya park (pic) in Petaling Jaya on February 18, 2017. — Google pic

BEBAS will hold a counter-rally against Himpunan 355 at Taman Jaya park (pic) in Petaling Jaya on February 18, 2017. — Google pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — A secular activist group has submitted a petition to all MPs today to reject a private member’s Bill to enhance the Shariah courts, should it be tabled in the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting.

The group calling itself BEBAS listed three reasons as to why the Bill should be opposed, which among others claimed that the law would exacerbate the unequal treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims; invalid concrete evidence to prove that the proposed law would be effective; and the possible abuse of the law if it was passed.

“Those who support the proposed amendment to Act 355 seem to refuse to acknowledge the grave weaknesses in the protection of the accused under the current system. Any move to enhance Shariah punishments will only make things worse. Read more