Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Act 355 and Hadi's Motion - Are we unnecessarily jumping to conclusions? Prejudice?

Act 355 (or Rang Undang-Undang 355) and the PAS President's Motion - There has been much confusion over this matter.

Act 355 is already a Federal Law since 1965, which was revised in 1988) - It is an UMNO-BN government initiative. This law places a limit on the sentences that could be imposed by Syariah Courts - not more than 3 years imprisonment, fines of more than RM5,000, 6 strokes of whipping.

Ustaz Hadi(PAS President) presented a MOTION - not a Bill to Amend a specific law. What his motion strives to do is to enable Syariah Courts to impose higher sentences, save the death penalty.

Personally, I will opposed to the idea that there are 2 sets of laws in Malaysia, one that applies to all, and another that can also be used against Muslims in Malaysia. I would be for EQUALITY - where everyone is treated the same 1 law for all especially when it comes to Criminal Offences...As such, I will not be agreeable to the idea of giving the Syariah Court any Criminal Jurisdiction. I would therefore call for the repeal of the Act 355, and any other such similar Acts that do exist. 

Well, some will say that this is based on the rights conferred by the Federal Constitution - well, then I will say that maybe we should amend the Federal Constitution. After all, our Federal Constitution have been amended so many times since Independence. Let us also not forget the process that brought about the Federal Constitution - did the Malaysian people even have a referendum where a majority said 'YES'? Constitutions should be amended from time to time to reflect the will of the people and changing times...Anyway, we are distracting from the main point.

So, back to Hadi Awang's motion - what is, if any, problem areas?

1 - Nothing wrong for any MP to table a Motion, for the Dewan Rakyat to consider and vote on. [But alas, most times, there is too much on the agenda, and we never reach the motions...]

2 -  If the motion, will bring about the increase of fines and prison terms, then there is no problem here. Personally, we should be opposed to all forms of corporal punishment - and that means there should be no whipping or other forms of physical torture [But that also exists in the present law, which we should call for it to be repealed]

3 - Hadi Awang's position that there should be no DEATH PENALTY should be applauded. It is a very progressive and correct position, consistent with international trend towards abolition of the death penalty.

4  -  Is he talking about new 'Hudud' provisions - nothing suggested from the wordings of the Motion that he is, or PAS is suggesting that? Now, we really need to look at both Hudud and Qisas offences...

5 -  Can the Syariah laws provide for the same crimes as already provided by our Federal Criminal laws? If yes, would this bring about an injustice? Where would you charge a person for murder or robbery? Syariah law has its criminal procedure and also evidentiary requirement - sometimes very different from the existing procedures? Malaysia has only about 60% Muslims...



An Act to confer jurisdiction upon Courts constituted under any State law for the purpose of dealing with offences under Islamic law.
[1 April 1965]

BE IT ENACTED by the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong with the advice and consent of the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1  Short title and application

(1) This Act may be cited as the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.
(2) This Act shall apply only to the States of Peninsular Malaysia.

2  Criminal Jurisdiction of Syariah Courts

The Syariah Courts duly constituted under any law in a State and invested with jurisdiction over persons professing the religion of Islam and in respect of any of the matters enumerated in List II of the State List of the Ninth Schedule to the Federal Constitution are hereby conferred jurisdiction in respect of offences against precepts of the religion of Islam by persons professing that religion which may be prescribed under any written law:
Provided that such jurisdiction shall not be exercised in respect of any offence punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding three years of with any fine exceeding five thousand ringgit or with whipping exceeding six strokes or with any combination thereof.
3  Validation

All offences under Islamic law which before the commencement of this Act in relation to the states of West Malaysia and which before the commencement of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment and Extension) Act 1989 in relation to the States of Sabah and Sarawak had been tried by any of the Courts aforesaid shall be deemed to have been validly tried as if jurisdiction in respect thereof had been conferred on those Courts by Federal law

So, what was Hadi's motion. Well, essentially from below - he is seeking the PERMISSION for him to table a Private Member's Bill, which will be allowing the imposition of sentence in accordance with Islam, save the death penalty. He seeks to delete the present stipulated minimum sentences...

 4. Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi bin Awang [ Marang ] akan mencadangkan:-
“Bahawa Dewan ini memberikan kebenaran menurut Peraturan Mesyuarat 49(1) kepada Yang Berhormat Ahli bagi kawasan Marang untuk mencadangkan suatu Rang Undang-undang Ahli Persendirian bernama Rang Undang-undang Mahkamah Syariah (Bidang Kuasa Jenayah) (Pindaan) 2016 seperti berikut:-

i. menggantikan Seksyen 2 dengan seksyen berikut:

2. Mahkamah Syariah akan mempunyai kuasa ke atas seseorang penganut agama Islam dan di dalam hal-hal kesalahan di bawah perkara-perkara yang disenaraikan di dalam Butiran 1 Senarai Negeri di bawah Jadual Kesembilan Undang-Undang Persekutuan.”; dan

ii. memasukkan selepas seksyen 2 dengan seksyen berikut:

2A. Dalam menjalankan undang-undang jenayah di bawah Seksyen 2 Mahkamah Syariah berhak menjatuhkan hukuman yang dibenarkan oleh undang-undang syariah berkaitan hal-hal kesalahan yang disenaraikan di bawah seksyen yang disebutkan diatas, selain dari hukuman mati.”[ Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri ]

So, what is Hudud and Qisas


Hudud dari sudut bahasa membawa maksud menahan atau mencegah. Manakala dari segi istilah ialah keseksaan yang telah ditetapkan oleh nas-nas al-Quran dan as-Sunnah yang wajib dilaksanakan  sebagai hak Allah S.W.T atau merosakan kepentingan masyarakat umum dan ketenteraman orang ramai iaitu berzina, menuduh orang berzina, minum arak, memcuri, murtad, merompak dan memberontak . Kadar hukumannya adalah mandatori dan tidak boleh dipinda samaada dikurang atau ditambah.
Firman Allah S.W.T:

"Dan sesiapa yang melanggar aturan-aturan hukum Allah, maka mereka itulah orang-orang yang zalim"(Surah al-Baqarah:229)


Kesalahan-kesalahan yang termasuk dalam hukuman hudud ialah sebagaimana berikut:

a.   Zina
Persetubuhan haram tanpa nikah yang sah antara lelaki dan perempuan. Hukumannya ialah direjam sampai mati jika telah berkahwin dan sebat 100 kali jika pesalah belum pernah berkahwin.

b.   Qazaf ( Menuduh berzina )
Melemparkan tuduhan zina tanpa bukti terhadap orang yang baik. Hukumannya ialah 80 kali sebatan.

c.    Minum Arak
Minum minuman yang memabukkan dan boleh menghilangkan kewarasan    akal. Hukumannya ialah 40 kali sebatan.

d.   Mencuri
Mengambil harta orang lain secara senyap atau bersembunyi. Hukumannya adalah potong tangan.

e.   Merompak
Mengambil hatra orang lain dengan menggunakan kekerasan, paksaan, ugutan dan ancaman. Hukumannya ialah:
  1. Sekiranya membunuh hendaklah dibunuh.
  2. Sekiranya hanya merompak sahaja hendaklah dipotong tanga dan kaki secara bersilang seperti tangan kanan dengan kaki kiri dan seterusnya kaki kanan dan tangan kiri bagi kesalahan yang seterusnya.
  3. Sekiranya hanya mengganggu ketenteraman awam dendaklah di ta'zir seperti dipenjara dan lain-lain lagi.
f.    Murtad
Keluar dari agama Islam samaada dengan perkataan atau perbuatan. Hukumannya ialah bunuh ( setelah diberi tempoh untuk bertaubat )...

Kesalahan-kesalahan yang diwajibkan hukuman qisas ialah:
  1. Membunuh dengan sengaja (Dengan niat membunuh dan dengan senjata yang boleh membunuh pada adatnya).
  2. Menghilangkan atau mencederakan anggota tubuh badan dengan sengaja seperti mata, hidung, telinga dan sebagainya.
  3. Melukakan orang lain dengan sengaja.

Mengikut Hukum Islam, qisas hendaklah dilakukan terhadap penjenayah dengan hukuman yang sama seperti mana dia melakukan kepada mangsanya. Membunuh dibalas dengan dibunuh, melukakan dibalas dengan dilukakan dan mencederakan dibalas dengan mencederakannya.

Source: JAIS Website


Hakimi Abdul Jabar said...

The excellent & highly-respected decision of the then Supreme Court which till this date remains THE LAW:

However, we have to set aside our personal feelings because the law in this country is still what it is today, secular law, where morality not accepted by the law is not enjoying the status of law. Perhaps that argument should be addressed at other forums or at seminars and perhaps, to politicians and Parliament. Until the law and the system is changed, we have no choice but to proceed as we are doing today.

Che Omar bin Che Soh v Public Prosecutor [1988] 2 MLJ 55

Hakimi Abdul Jabar said...

Lawyers, practising & non-practitioners have already realized this pertinent fact for A VERY LONG TIME : The argument has only been addressed at other forums or at seminars and perhaps, to politicians and Parliament.

Tun Salleh Abbas LP & his brethren were visionaries!

The excellent & highly-respected decision of the then Supreme Court (the precursor to the present Federal Court) in Che Omar bin Che Soh v Public Prosecutor [1988] 2 MLJ 55, which till date remains THE LAW :

However, we have to set aside our personal feelings because THE LAW in this country is still what it IS today, SECULAR LAW, where morality not accepted by the law is not enjoying the status of law. Perhaps that argument should be addressed at other forums or at seminars and perhaps, to politicians and Parliament. Until the law and the system is changed, we have no choice but to proceed as we are doing today.

Che Omar bin Che Soh v Public Prosecutor [1988] 2 MLJ 55 comprised of a five-man bench: Tun Salleh Abas LP, Wan Suleiman SCJ, George Seah SCJ, Hashim Yeop A. Sani SCJ and Syed Agil Barakbah SCJ (SCJ is short for ‘Supreme Court Justices’).

Hakimi Abdul Jabar said...

The Syariah goes against the secular structure of the Malaysian Federal Constitution, which does not envisage a theocratic Islamic state, or a parallel criminal justice system where Muslims and non-Muslims are subjected to unequal treatment before the law.

In Che Omar Bin Che Soh v Public Prosecutor [1988] 2 MLJ 55, the then Supreme Court held that laws in Malaysia do not have to conform to Islamic principles, and confirmed that Malaysia is a secular state. Thus, if hudud were brought into the criminal justice system, it would result in the importation of Islamic penal law into a secular system. This would result in a rewriting of the Federal Constitution.

Hudud is also inconsistent with these provisions of the Federal Constitution:

(1) Article 5 clause(1) of the Federal Constitution confers to all citizens the right to life or personal liberty, which cannot be deprived “save in accordance with law”. The word “law”, as defined in Article 160 clause (2) of the Federal Constitution, does not expressly provide for, or mention Syariah as part of the definition of law. The Syariah was clearly omitted from the definition;

(2) Article 7 clause (2) of the Federal Constitution protects against repeated trials of accused persons in criminal offences. A Muslim person, who is tried and convicted for an offence under the Penal Code, may then be exposed to a second trial for the same offence and punished under hudud laws. This would be in breach of Art.7 cl.(2); and

(3) Art.8 cl.(1) of the Federal Constitution guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of the law. The Syariah would be applicable only to Muslims. This would offend Art.8 cl.(1), as it would result in divergent procedures, separate evidentiary rules and differing punishment being applicable to Muslims as compared to non-Muslims, in respect of criminal offences. A Muslim offender would also face heavier punishment under hudud laws for the same offence, compared to a non-Muslim offender who is not subject to hudud laws. Further, the hudud laws entrench, and result in, injustice and discrimination against women and this would be contrary to Art.8 cl.(2).

The Federal Court in the case of Sivarasa Rasiah v. Badan Peguam Malaysia & Anor [2010] 3 CLJ 507 forcefully stated that :

"Further, it is clear from the way in which the Federal Constitution is constructed there are certain features that constitute its basic fabric.

"Unless sanctioned by the Constitution itself, any statute (including one amending the Constitution) that offends the basic structure may be struck down as unconstitutional.

"Whether a particular feature is part of the basic structure must be worked out on a case by case basis. Suffice to say that the rights guaranteed by Part II which are enforceable in the courts form part of the basic structure of the Federal Constitution."

As Hudud is inconsistent with the rights guaranteed by Part II which are enforceable in the courts that form part of the basic structure of the Federal Constitution, there is no doubt as to its unconstitutionality.