Act 355: Interfaith Group’s Statement Risks Weakening Constitutional Liberties

18 06 2016

What is the problem with some non-Muslims when the Muslims tries to strengthen the teaching of Islam in an Islamic country?

Why must non-Muslims oppose laws that only affect the Muslims?

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) opposes the private member’s bill regarding the Act 355 or Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 tabled by PAS President, Datuk Seri Haji Hadi, reported Malay Mail Online on May 31, 2016.

According to Malay Mail Online, MCCBCHST claimed that, “…. the proposed law risks weakening the country’s constitutional liberties, including religious freedom.”

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.

~Malay Mail Online.

In the first place I wonder if the council leaders understand Dato’ Seri Haji Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill and the Act 355 before making the statement.

As I wrote in, “Akta 355: DAP MPs, Please Do Your Homeworks”,  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 Syariah 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 how can the Bill, “risk weakening the country’s constitutional liberties, including religious freedom“?

Firstly, since Act 355 is an existing Act about criminal jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts which only affects persons professing the religion of Islam, how could the increase of the Syariah Courts current existing punishments weakens the country’s constitutional liberties, including religious freedom when the Bill will empowers the teaching of Islam for the Muslims and has nothing to do with people professing other religions?

Instead, the Bill will strengthen the “constitutional liberties,  including religious freedom” of the Muslims because it will give more constitutional rights for the Muslims in professing the true teaching of Islam and to curb deviant teachings that claimed to be the true Islamic teaching.

So, will that pose problems to the council?

In fact, it is MCCBCHST that is “weakening the country’s constitutional liberties, including religious freedom” by interfering into the internal matter of the Muslims and denying the constitutional rights of the Muslims to manage their own religion.

Article 11(3) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia:

Every religious group has the right— to manage its own religious affairs;

So, in my opinion, since the council does not represent the Muslims and the Bill will not effect the people of religion groups represented by the council the council has no constitutional rights to intervene in the matters of the Muslims and to tell the Muslims how to manage Islam. 

Also said in the same article by Malay Mail Online:

“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.

~Malay Mail Online

I do not understand why the leaders of the council group are so opposed to the Bill that not only will give so much advantages for to the Muslims but also very positive impacts to the society because a Muslims who observes the true teaching of Islam will be a very good citizen and will obey the law of our country.  

So I wonder why that will pose a problem to others.

Stating that:

“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. 

~ Malay Mail Online.

If Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad made that statement regarding the Bill, then he clearly does not understand it.

So, the council must stop listening to Tun regarding the matter and please ask for clarifications from the official authorities.

That is why Dato’ Sri Najib Razak must not listen to Tun and oppose the Private Member’s Bill just because Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad disagreed with the amendment.

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Akta 355: DAP MPs, Please Do Your Homeworks

1 06 2016

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

ACT 355
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. 








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