Malaysians including the non-Muslims are making all kinds of comments regarding PAS President, Dato’ Seri Haji Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill about the amendments of the Act 355 Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Revised – 1988) recently.
But the question is, do they understand what is Act 355 and to whom does the Act apply to?
The Act 355 is not a new Act but it is an existing Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act:
LAWS OF MALAYSIA
SYARIAH COURTS (CRIMINAL JURISDICTION) ACT 1965 (REVISED – 1988)
Incorporating latest amendment – Act A996/1997
In Section 2 of the Act, it is clearly written that the Act 355 only affects “persons professing the religion of Islam”:
Section 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 or with any fine exceeding five thousand ringgit or with whipping exceeding six strokes or with any combination thereof.
The Private Member’s Bill is not about proposing a new Act but it is about amending an existing Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, which is to increase the Shariah Courts punishments that are currently limited to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or with whipping not exceeding six strokes or with any combination thereof.
So why must DAP Member of Parliaments condemn Haji Hadi for tabling the Private Member’s Bill when the Bill only affect the Muslims, and what rights do they have to interfere into the internal matters of the Religion of the Federation when 100% of the DAP MPs are non-Muslims?
Have they forgotten the Article 11(3)?
And looking for reasons to support their allegations, they claim that the Private Member’s Bill is against the Federal Constitution of Malaysia for the reasons that it is about applying the Hudud Laws when the fact is, the Act 355 is already part of the laws of Malaysia.
It makes more sense for the Muslim Malay Members of Parliament of PKR and PAN to make havocs out of this issue since it will affect them but it makes me wonder why are they so against of the amendments of the Act 355 that will empower the Shariah Courts?
What are they scared of or why are they unhappy about this issue when Muslims must be happy and thankful of the empowerment of the Shariah Courts?
Please stop spinning stories, this is about the constitutional rights of the Muslims, so please stop politicising this issue.