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Non-Muslims should ask right questions about hudud first, says academic

June 9, 2014

“We don’t have to ask whose law is hudud but to merely ask whether it is effective. People don’t care whether a cat is black or white, as long as it can catch the mice.”

BY LOOI SUE-CHERN(TMI)

Published: 9 June 2014 | Updated: 9 June 2014 1:08 AM

Penang Institute political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat says non-Muslims should ask if Muslims are willing to amend Article 182 of the Federal Constitution, which states that the Special Court has exclusive jurisdiction to try all offences committed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or a state ruler, if hudud is implemented. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, June 9, 2014.

Penang Institute political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat says non-Muslims should ask if Muslims are willing to amend Article 182 of the Federal Constitution, which states that the Special Court has exclusive jurisdiction to try all offences committed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or a state ruler, if hudud is implemented. –The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, June 9, 2014.

Instead of hitting out at proposals to implement hudud and demanding that their rights be preserved, non-Muslims should start asking proponents of the Islamic law the right questions.

Penang Institute political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat said non-Muslims should ask if Muslims were willing to amend Article 182 of the Federal Constitution, which states that the Special Court has exclusive jurisdiction to try all offences committed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or a state ruler.

“If hudud is to be implemented and all Muslims are to be subjected to it, then will the government amend Article 182 to allow the king and the rulers to also be subjected to hudud?” he asked at Wisma Than Hsiang in Penang last night at the “Contemporary Buddhist forum: the impact of Islamisation on democratic society and non-Islamic religions”.

Wong said non-Muslims should also ask how much was a quarter of a dinar worth today to punish a criminal for theft.

Under hudud, a person who steals something worth a quarter of a dinar or more shall have his or her hand cut off.

“In the 1993 Kelantan hudud enactment, the monetary threshold was RM2,000. If a quarter of a dinar was RM2,000 then according to God’s will, how much is it today in 2014, counting in factors like the exchange and inflation rates and the distribution of wealth?

“Does the enactment provide a revision mechanism to address the inflation rate, at least?”

Wong said another question was whether they were willing to redraft the Federal Constitution to enable the implementation of hudud in Kelantan because the Islamic law has never been part of the deal when Sabah and Sarawak merged with Malaya in 1963 to form Malaysia.

“Everyone has a say but he may not need to state his moral position. He just had to ask the important technical questions and open the issue to debate,” he said, adding that by merely objecting, hudud proponents can simply accuse non-Muslim of making noise because they lack understanding.

He said hudud could not be imposed simply because its proponents call it their religious rights, because even non-Muslims have equal rights in decision-making on the matter.

He said those who supported the implementation of the Islamic penal code should prove its merits.

Prove that hudud is a superior system, which is better than the Common Law. Then, I will also accept it,” he said, using Islamic banking as an example to show that non-Muslims have accepted an Islamic system because it was beneficial to them.

“We don’t have to ask whose law is hudud but to merely ask whether it is effective. People don’t care whether a cat is black or white, as long as it can catch the mice.”

He said enforcing hudud would also be problematic as criminals did not always commit offences against people of their own faith. Hudud was either for everyone or no one.

He said that even if Kelantan succeeded in implementing hudud in the state alone, non-Muslims there would still be affected.

Meanwhile, monk Wei Wu, who spoke at the event, said politics were a “tricky” matter for Buddhist monks, who should not interfere with worldly matters.

However, he said the proposal to implement hudud was an important topic and a matter that would affect everyone, Muslim or not.

Wei said the people, as citizens of this country, must send a clear message to politicians on how they felt about this issue, which was often used to get votes.

“The duty of any government is to look after the welfare of the people. As citizens, we must let the government know that they cannot use sensitive issues like hudud to divide the nation.”

Wei said: “This nation is a secular state,” citing a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in 1988.

The Supreme Court set a precedent in 1988 when it rejected an argument in the landmark case of Muslim drug trafficker Che Omar Che Soh, who was facing the mandatory death sentence, that because Islam is the religion of the Federation, laws passed by Parliament must be imbued with Islamic principles and that the death penalty was void because it was not according to hudud.

Tun Salleh Abas, who was then Lord President and head of the judiciary, said in the landmark ruling that “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 the law.”

The forum, which was in Mandarin, was organised by the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) to discuss and analyse the Islamisation policy in Malaysia, as well as its impact on democracy. – June 9, 2014.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/non-muslims-should-ask-right-questions-about-hudud-first-says-academic#sthash.WklC8kMY.dpuf

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. najib manaukau permalink
    June 9, 2014 4:59 am

    What these people who are objecting to are not the Islamic laws being implemented in this country. What they are really objecting to are the consequences when these laws are being implemented in this country. Most of all there wouldn’t be any politicians left in this country, most of them would have being stoned to death or without limbs. What a shamble it will be !

  2. June 12, 2014 4:23 pm

    Dr Dzul, surprised to see you sharing this article of mine here.

    • Dr. Dzul permalink*
      June 12, 2014 6:08 pm

      Honestly I like this article….I like when someone dissents and i will continue learning…

      Thnx Dr WCH.

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