Malaysia after Hudud: A Nation Divided

March 29, 2015

Malaysia after Hudud: A Nation Divided

By Zurairi AR and Boo Su-Lyn

No Hudud in MalaysiaTHIS?

Hudud has for the past two decades largely been treated as a mere fringe topic among Malaysians, a political hot potato tossed back and forth between local parties as they canvassed for Muslim votes during elections.

But last week, when the Kelantan legislative assembly passed amendments to its Shariah Criminal Code II enactment — dubbed the hudud Bill — the controversial Islamic penal code quickly became a legitimate public concern.

Now, if PAS, the Islamist party that governs Kelantan, next succeeds at the federal level in getting more legislative amendments approved, hudud, an Islamic punishment system under Shariah law, will be implemented for the first time in a Malaysian state.

Although the law would only be confined to Kelantan, it must be noted that PAS’s manoeuvre in Kelantan has already roused the ambitions of other Islamist groups and scholars who wish to see hudud sweep the country. All eyes are also on Terengganu, which had also passed a similar but still ungazetted enactment with hudud elements in 2002.

The ball is now in Parliament’s court, but analysts and observers are already warning that should hudud get implemented in other states, the Malaysia we know today will head towards an irreparable divide.

A legal system divided

Malaysia has always practised a dual-track legal system, although for the Muslims, legal disputes on family matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance, and the precepts of Islam, are dealt with under the Shariah law.

The implementation of hudud, however, will see the Shariah courts encroaching on offences already covered in the civil justice system, specifically the Penal Code. These include crimes like sariqah (theft) and hirabah (robbery). Hudud’s companion qisas, meanwhile will legislate the offence of murder, which is also already covered by civil law.

According to amendments in Kelantan’s hudud Bill, however, once enforced, hudud will only apply to Muslims. For example, a Muslim guilty of theft in Kelantan can be punished by amputation of his limbs, under Section 7 of the state’s hudud law.

But in the Penal Code, the same crime committed by a non-Muslim prescribes a maximum seven-year jail term or fine or both, according to Section 379 of the legislation.

The prospect of subjecting criminals to two different punishments for the same crime by virtue of their religious backgrounds, however, could prove complicated in a diverse nation like Malaysia, analysts said.

Hudud2OR THIS?

“How do you enforce this in a plural society? Of course it would lead to injustice between Muslims and non-Muslims, especially if the crime involves perpetrators of different religions,” political analyst Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Hassan said in a recent phone interview.

“I think this contradicts the principles of Islam, where there exists variations and injustice in the punishment for the same crime.” At the crux of the argument is the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the country that is the bedrock of Malaysia’s foundation.

If hudud is to be implemented, it would mean that the Federal Constitution will have to be amended to legislate against crimes already under the Penal Code, said Nizam Bashir, who is both a constitutional and Shariah lawyer.

“What seems to be missing from the conversation at this point of time is what the framers of the Constitution has envisaged as the appropriate balance of powers in a federal system of government like Malaysia. Simply put, we were always meant to have a strong central government,” Nizam told Malay Mail Online.

“Having said that, this does not mean that states have no power or the monarchs’ role are trivialised in some way in the Constitution. It is far from that.

“But it is very clear that the central government was always meant to take centre stage on matters like crime, and one can see why as it would promote public order,” the lawyer added.

The same sentiment was expressed by Malaysian Bar President Steven Thiru, who in a statement on March 20, said implementing hudud laws would fundamentally alter Malaysia’s secular Federal Constitution in ways never intended.

“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,” Steven warned.

Lawyers have also claimed that the implementation of hudud in Kelantan will lead to more constitutional challenges being filed in court against the Islamic penal code.Constitutional lawyer New Sin Yew pointed out that the civil courts were forced to intervene in previous cases of Shariah courts overstepping their jurisdiction, such as M. Indira Gandhi’s child custody dispute with her ex-husband who is a Muslim convert.

“Certain aspects of the state enactment like sariqah or hirabah will be challenged in the civil courts because only the civil courts have the power to decide on constitutional issues,” New told Malay Mail Online, referring to the hudud Bill.

“And certain punishments like the death penalty and amputation will be challenged for violating federal law,” he added, noting that the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 limits the punishments Islamic courts can impose to three years’ jail, RM5,000 fines or six strokes of whipping.

These challenges are bound to widen the chasm between the two legal systems, especially with minister in charge of religious affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom alleging last year of a “new wave” of assault on Islam here, and accusing rights groups of colluding with enemies of Islam to put its religious institutions on trial in a secular court.

A society divided

The discrimination in punishment among Muslims and non-Muslims will also lead to bigger problems in society as Malaysians would be treated differently in the eyes of the law, Nik Abdul Aziz suggested.

Already, clear divisions have appeared between those in support of Kelantan’s hudud and those who do not, as demonstrated in the recent case of BFM presenter Aisyah Tajuddin.

The young Muslim journalist earned heavy criticism over a satirical video produced by the popular business radio station where she was seen criticising the PAS government’s bid to introduce the law in Kelantan.

“This phenomenon will bring about clashes, discontent, and other problems … When the public is not being managed fairly, it will bring towards a discriminatory pattern,” warned the analyst, who is also a retired former head of Dakwah Studies Department in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

“Islam emphasises fairness. Under the roof of fairness, only then can you guarantee economic and social stability.”

RATNA_OSMANRatna Osman and Zainah Anwar

Meanwhile, the dismissal of women’s role in hudud also has women rights group Sister in Islam (SIS) worried over the treatment of women in the future, especially Muslim women. SIS’s Executive Director Ratna Osman pointed to Section 41 of Kelantan’s hudud Bill, which specifies that only an adolescent and fair male Muslim can stand as a witness in the cases of zina (illicit sex) and liwat (sodomy).

“This disqualified non-Muslims overall and Muslim women, and this contradicts with equality that is promised under Article 8 of the Constitution, that guarantees equality for all regardless of race and gender,” Ratna told Malay Mail Online.

“The fact that women are disqualified as witnesses in the code, is against the practise of Islamic laws on evidence,” she added, citing several hadith—collections of Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds—where women’s testimonies were accepted in criminal cases.

She also took issue with the provisions in Kelantan’s bill governing qazaf (false accusation of zina), which puts the burden of proof on women in cases of rape, and the li’an provision, which allows a husband to accuse his wife of adultery under a sacred oath.

“You will find because of this gender inequality, a lot of cases, in Iran particularly, where husbands are always using li’an as a means to put their wives in jail. It is an easy way out of marriage,” Ratna claimed.

She also pointed to how in other countries like Pakistan, it is always the women who are convicted of zina while their male partners escape prosecution.Apart from that, Ratna also noted the difficulty in criticising the implementation of hudud after Kelantan passed its hudud Bill.

The space of discourse, even among Muslims, is rapidly shrinking with the authorities now warning laymen against discussing hudud and religion in general, as the voice of discontent continues to grow unfettered online.

Against their critics, PAS has so far resorted to labels from “immorals” and “liars”, which Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob uttered when tabling the bill, to “parrots” and “unforgivable ignorants” in PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s open letter a week after.

A country divided

In its video, BFM and Aisyah had asked how exactly hudud would fill the rice bowls of Kelantan folks, especially as the state remains one of the poorest in the country. The question has still remained unanswered, but critics told Malay Mail Online that the trickle down effect of hudud’s implementation in plural Malaysia will inevitably impact even bread and butter issues.

“Why must we rush in hudud, when the priority should be on social justice, eradicating poverty, access to health services, urban cleanliness? There are a lot of things in Islam we can implement,” Nik Abdul Aziz suggested.

“This hudud punishments will lead to bigger implications. If there is a huge case of theft, wouldn’t you have one race with fewer hands than the others? That is why we have to think this out thoroughly.”

There is already global fear that Malaysia risks losing its identity as a model of religious moderation and multiracialism if hudud goes ahead, as expressed by an influential group of retired Malay senior civil servants dubbed G25 on March 25.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak invariably touts Malaysia’s reputation to the international community and investors as a so-called moderate Muslim country, especially in his address to the United Nations as recent as September last year. But this image has continued to take a beating with recent actions taken by religious authorities, especially in the case of the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

Having hudud nationwide might be the nail on the coffin for his campaign, according to some. “If hudud were ever to see the light of day in Malaysia we can be sure that there will be a massive outflow of investment, wealth and people from Malaysia,” tycoon and philanthropist Koon Yew Yin wrote in his blog on March 22.

“It is not only the locals who will leave. The international community—including foreign investors—has been more loud and vociferous in expressing concern about the growing Islamisation in the country.”

“Adoption by Parliament — even if a two-thirds majority is not obtained — will be the beginning of the end for moderate and inclusive Islam in the country. Is the Middle East model of fundamentalist Islam which has brought destruction and disaster the model that Malaysian Muslims want to follow? I do not think so,” he added.

On March 19, the Kelantan state assembly approved the Shariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment with 31 votes from PAS lawmakers supported by 12 from UMNO.

PAS now plans to put forward two private members’ bills in Parliament to enable Kelantan to enforce hudud ― one will seek approval for the state to legislate punishment for crimes under the Penal Code.

The other seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal) Jurisdiction Act 1965 to enable Islamic courts to mete out punishments like the death penalty for apostasy and amputation of limbs for theft. PAS has said it only needs a simple majority in Parliament, or 112 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal) Jurisdiction Act.

Musa Hitam Urges UMNO to make a stand on Hudud

March 22, 2015

Tun Musa Hitam urges UMNO to make a stand on Hudud

Musa HitamUMNO should make a stand now on PAS’s hudud and not pretend to be surprised with the Islamist party’s push for the implementation of the Islamic criminal law in Kelantan, says Tun Musa Hitam.

The former Deputy Prime Minister said hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, expressing his disappointment over UMNO’s slow response on the issue.

“I am disappointed that UMNO appeared to be shocked (by PAS’s move) and until now have yet to decide on its stance. I have been worried about this for some time,” he said in a statement from Cordoba, Spain.

“UMNO must take a firm stance. This national issue has a very long implication to the country, both domestically and internationally,”

He said as UMNO could not afford to be seen as trying to outdo PAS on this issue.”Don’t try to be more PAS than PAS themselves. UMNO should not be trying to out-PAS PAS!”, he said.

With PAS’s partners, DAP and PKR deciding not to support PAS’s hudud bill should it be tabled in Parliament, the onus is now on UMNO and Barisan Nasional to clarify whether it supported the bill.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to make an announcement on BN’s stand on PAS’s hudud soon. Several BN component parties had given their views during the recent meeting and it was up to the Prime Minister to disclose it.

Musa, who is also the former UMNO Deputy President, said when it comes to hudud, the people should not be surprised with PAS’s hudud bill as the party has been championing the issue consistently for a long time.

“And to the opposition parties in Pakatan Rakyat, do not pretend you are not aware of it too,” he said. At the same time, Musa reiterated his stance that hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia.

“As a former UMNO leader, I strongly believe in my heart that since its establishment until today, UMNO’s stance too has been that hudud is not suitable for a multi-religious, multi-racial country like Malaysia,”

Musa said that if he was wrong about it, UMNO should make a decision on its stance immediately and not brush off the matter. “The nation will not the only one that is going to pay for the consequences, UMNO too will feel its bad effect, more so that it has served the country for so long, Do not let this destroy UMNO from within… don’t self destruct.” he said.

PAS Pesident Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is seeking to table a private members’ bill in Parliament during the current sitting ending April 9 to enable Kelantan to implement amendments to the state’s hudud laws which have drawn outrage from his own PR allies.

The conservative Islamist leader sent a notice to Parliament on March 18, after the Kelantan state assembly unanimously approved the Shariah Criminal Code 11 1993 (Amendment 2015), or hudud bill.

Hadi’s notice, which was confirmed by a senior party leader who said it was to amend Act 355 (Shariah Courts) which limits the powers of the court and is an impediment to implementing the hudud law.

Act 355 or the Shariah Courts Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965 limits the shariah courts to a maximum penalty of RM3,000 in fine, five years’ jail and six strokes of the rotan.

An amendment is required in this law to enable the Kelantan hudud amendments to take effect. However, PAS allies PKR and DAP say hudud laws are not part of Pakatan’s common stand.

Why NO to Hudud Law for Malaysia

March 19, 2015

Why NO to Hudud Law for Malaysia

by Azrul Mohd.

najib-on-hududNajib must have forgotten what he said on September 25, 2o11

The tabling of the Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II 1993 (Amendment 2015) in the Kelantan State Assembly and any move to amend the Federal Constitution to allow for the implementation of hudud at the State and Federal levels needs to be opposed by all right thinking Malaysians.

Personally, I will never support the imposition of hudud in this country. These are my four reasons:

Hudud is not needed in Malaysia.

The law should be and is more than just about punishing others. It is about the deliverance of justice. The penal laws at the centre of hudud were written during a time when harsh measures were necessary to impose peace, order and stability amidst a period of lawlessness, conflict and turmoil. They were guidelines for civilised behaviour formulated when and where there were few laws and men. Hudud was necessary there and at that time. Today, in our country, hudud law is neither necessary nor required.

We already have civil and criminal laws which provide for separate sets of laws and punishments. One of the primary tenets of Islam is about the deliverance of justice. The discourse surrounding the adoption and implementation of hudud in this country has barely made justice a mention, much less a priority. It has, however been very much about politics, punishing other people and posturing to “out-Islam” each other.

The adoption of hudud into practice, to me, would represent a failure of our existing legal systems to deliver justice. It would also represent a repulsive need to show others how Islamic we are and how holy we can be at the cost of signing away the liberties and freedoms of others.

Instead of delivering justice, hudud would compromise our existing systems and result in situations which cannot be easily explained away by holy verses and theological arguments.

Lack of accountability, transparency and standard of care.

Our religious department officials have hardly been paragons of these virtues. Whenever these issues are brought up, they have bristled with outrage, indignation and accused others of undermining or questioning their authority.

JAKIM’s Director General Datuk Othman Mustapha recently denounced the questioning of religious authorities as being part of a liberalism movement. As if you needed to be part of an ideology, belief system or movement, to be able to ask questions and demand accountability and transparency from civil servants who are paid with our (Muslim and non-Muslim) tax money.

In 2012, an amendment was made to the Mufti and Fatwa (Kedah Darul Aman) Enactment 2008 by the Kedah state government and passed unanimously by the State Legislative Assembly. The amendment made any fatwa of the state Mufti or Fatwa Committee, whether gazetted or not, unable to be challenged, appealed, reviewed, denied or questioned in any civil or Shariah court. In short, approving a measure which would effectively put a fatwa above the law and above the Federal Constitution.

NIK RAINA INTERVIEWNik Raina–Victim of JAWI’s Persecution

Consider the case of Nik Raina who has been pursued relentlessly by the Wilayah Persekutuan Religious Department (JAWI) despite a defective charge. JAWI’s actions were determined by three courts of law (civil and Shariah) to be illegal, of bad faith and unconstitutional. Yet they still are pursuing her after three years. This case has been the very definition of injustice and a neglect of the standard of care required of a legal criminal case. Instead they have been dependent on the tactics of bullying, intimidation, fear and oppression in the hope that they can beat Nik Raina into submission and defeat.

Islam requires the utmost prudence, caution and compassion in the enforcement of the law and prosecution of cases. The enforcement of hudud will be dependent on the religious departments to demonstrate a clear understanding of the basic legal principles of justice, fairness and compassion. They must also be open to dialogue, criticism and debate. They must be accountable, transparent and exercise prudence and care in enforcement of the law.

Based on recent examples and their behaviour, the parties involved in the discussion of hudud which include religious authorities, thus far have been anything but transparent and open with their intentions. They feel that they are above criticism. That they can do no wrong and are infallible. They feel themselves accountable to no one and need not explain themselves. That to criticise them is to question Islam.

Peddling away fundamental freedoms.

There is a reason for the Shariah system to be where it is under the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. Imposition of the hudud law involves changing the very agreement in which this country was founded on.

Hadi3The Father of Hududdism

Make no mistake, the attempts to rewrite the Constitution are no longer silent. Those who make the self-righteous claim to the mantle of champions and protectors of Islam seem to not hesitate to peddle away our freedoms and liberties at the altar of politics. Such repulsive behaviour is not the exclusive domain of one particular party but can be seen across the chamber and even in the civil service.

There will be those who will ask, why should you be afraid if you have nothing to fear? We know all too well that we have much to fear when the state becomes engrossed in persecuting its own people, looking for sin, finding fault where there is none, jumping at shadows and imagined threats. We have seen enough evidence of it.

Anyway, why should being a Muslim make it alright to be tyrannised and inflicted with injustice? Do Muslims not have the right as non-Muslims to equal protection and treatment under the law? Are we as Muslims to be deprived of rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Federal Constitution simply because of our religion? Why do we allow ourselves to be subject to possible bias, discrimination and religious tyranny?

Implementation of hudud will, without any doubt, affect all regardless of religions, ethnicity or creed. Non-Muslims should not and must not be silent just because they are allegedly not affected by the proposed laws. The eroding of our fundamental freedoms and civil liberties in the name of religion, affects everyone.

We must not allow these people to sacrifice our fundamental freedoms and rights for votes which will last only so long as the next election cycle or the setting of the sun. In these circumstances, there is no such thing as kasi chance lah. What is taken away will be very hard to be given back. If implemented, hudud will change our way of life as we know it in Malaysia.

Unjust means do not equate to Islam and justice.


The reasons used to justify the imposition of hudud have not evolved far from “It’s God’s law!” and calling those who criticise its imposition as liars, infidels and munafiks. This lazy defence of hudud not only amounts to religious blackmail to accept it wholesale but also implies that questioning it makes a person less of a Muslim in the sight of God.

These are some of the arguments which the champions of hudud in this country depend on. The great Islamic caliphates of old held great stock in intellectual curiosity and debate. Religious leaders back then were often also lawyers, students of jurisprudence, mathematicians, astronomers, medical doctors, philosophers, explorers and teachers. They were wise men and women who drew on the lessons of the world to decide when to use the spoken word, the pen and the sword to arbitrate and administer justice. Compare them to who we have enforcing religious laws in this country today.

The Quran also clearly states that there is no compulsion in religion. Yet, those who fight for hudud in this country tolerate no dissent or contrarian opinions and require unthinking, unblinking and blind obedience. When people tell you that you shouldn’t or are not allowed to use your mind or akal to reason or rationalise these issues, you know, you have a problem. They want unquestioning compliance and obedience.

Yet, the first word revealed to the illiterate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was Iqra, which means read or recite. It implies the need to learn. That there should neither be blind adherence nor unthinking compliance. Doing so would make us vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, bigotry and injustice which are all too human.

And as those who enforce hudud are human, they are neither infallible nor free from bias or prejudice. Vulnerable to ego and pride. Sins of arrogance, takbur and bongkak. We have seen evidence of this in the Nik Raina case.

How can we also trust these same people to implement and enforce a criminal code when they have barely been able to keep up on matters such as ensuring the rights of women on issues of inheritance, divorce and child custody?

Finally, let us not be naïve in thinking that non-Muslims will not be affected by these measures. The contents of a Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) strategic paper which states that hudud should be applicable to all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, tells me that regardless of whether there is the requisite two-thirds majority support in Parliament, there are people working actively behind the scenes to make this universality a reality. The words of a former Chief Justice bring to mind how far up such sympathies can go. We cannot afford to be complacent. This is not just a political issue. This imposition affects all of us.

Muslims and non-Muslims have a right to speak out as we, as Malaysians, are all stakeholders of this country. At the end of the day, it is beholden on us as citizens of this country to decide how Malaysia should be. We look to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the Sultans to safeguard the interests of all citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims.

For me, I will not subject myself or those who I care for and love to those who would use God’s name in vain in their overzealous pursuit for godliness and to demonstrate their individual or collective piety.

For all these reasons, I will never support hudud in Malaysia and I will resist any  measure which seeks to change the fundamental nature of Malaysia and its people.

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

Group 25 views JAWI’s latest action against Nik Raina with great concern

March 18, 2015

Group 25 views JAWI’s latest action against Nik Raina with great concern

Group of 25The Group of 25

COMMENT: We, the Group of 25 (G25) eminent Malays, view with great concern the action by the chief syarie prosecutor of the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) in filing an appeal to the Syariah Court of Appeal in the case of Ketua Pendakwa Syarie vs Nik Rania Nik Abdul Aziz.

We say this based on the following facts:

a) When Jawi, accompanied by media representatives, raided Borders Bookstore on May 23, 2012 and seized several books by Irshad Manji entitled ‘Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta’ and ‘Allah, Liberty and Love’, these books were not the subject of any ban. There was nothing illegal about these books and Borders was never informed by any authorities that they could not be sold;

b) These books were only banned by the Home Ministry by way of a government gazette that was published three weeks later, on June 14, 2012. Therefore, prior to that date, it was impossible for any law-abiding citizen of Malaysia to know that the religious authorities or the Home Ministry consider these books to be objectionable;

c) Borders made representations for JAWI’s enforcement actions to be discontinued, but these representations were ignored. Borders also filed a judicial review on June 18, 2012 and notified JAWI’s chief syarie prosecutor in the hope that JAWI would refrain from further action;

Nik Raina

d) Instead, having realised that JAWI could not take action against Borders and the merchandising general manager who were non-Muslims, the JAWI chief syarie prosecutor chose to institute criminal proceedings against Nik Raina (above). On June 19, Nik Raina was charged under Section 13 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 at the Federal Territories Syariah Court;

e) Thereafter, Nik Raina was subjected to a convoluted and protracted legal process as the manager of the Borders bookstore. Her only ‘offence’ was that she worked as a manager of a bookstore;

f) On March 22, 2013, the civil High Court granted the judicial review and declared that JAWI’s Actions including the syariah prosecution against Nik Raina to be illegal and void. JAWI, represented by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, appealed to the civil Court of Appeal against that decision;

g) On December 30, 2014, the civil Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed JAWI’s appeal and upheld the High Court’s judgment that JAWI’s enforcement actions against Borders and the prosecution against Nik Raina were wrongful, illegal and void;

h) Based on the Court of Appeal’s order dated December 30, 2014, the JAWI chief syarie prosecutor was required to withdraw the syariah criminal prosecution against Nik Raina;

i) On February 26, 2015, the syariah criminal prosecution came before the Syariah High Court presided by Syarie Judge Mohd Amran Mat Zain. It was reported in the press that the JAWI chief syarie prosecutor had left it to the Syarie Judge on the proper order to be made in view of the Order dated December 30, 2014 by the civil Court of Appeal;

Order of discharge not amounting to acquittal

j) In the circumstances, Syarie Judge Mohd Amran Mat Zain was reported by the press to have stated, “…he had considered the fact that the very accusation and the charge itself have been deemed suspect and doubtful. He considered that JAWI’s actions had been chastised and were found by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal to be not only illegal but unconstitutional and done in bad faith. He recognised and empathised with Nik Raina’s sufferings as a result of this case and spoke of how he considered that the circumstances of injustice could harm her…” Accordingly, the learned Syarie Judge made an order of discharge not amounting to acquittal.

The appeal by the JAWI chief syarie prosecutor to the Syariah Court of Appeal may well have the effect of bringing the syariah and civil courts into a collision course, and manifest a conflict of laws and conflict of jurisdiction issues. The action of the chief syarie prosecutor in disregarding the two court orders will put him at risk of committal proceeding being instituted against him.

Manji's Book

We commend the owners of Borders Bookstore, namely the Berjaya Group, for their caring and compassionate attitude towards their employee, Nik Raina and for their material and moral support for her during this traumatic period in her life. We encourage them to explore all legal avenues to uphold her rights under the law.

The chief syarie prosecutor, the Director-General of JAWI and all its officers involved in the prosecution of Nik Raina must be held accountable for their questionable action against her. These actions do not reflect the principles of justice, mercy, compassion and wasatiyyah in Islam.

In this regard, we urge our public authorities to abide by the rule of law and to uphold the supremacy of the federal constitution.

In the Hadith Qudsi reported by Muslim, Allah says, “O my servants! I have forbidden injustice to Myself and have forbidden that for you as well, then do not commit injustice to each other.”

It is difficult to reconcile such unreasonable and unjust conduct on the part of the JAWI chief syarie prosecutor with the command of Allah in the Holy Quran Surah Al Maidah (5:8) to be just and fair, “Oh ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong or depart from justice. Be just; that is next to piety…”

In conclusion, we, the G25, implore the federal and state governments, their departments and agencies, Parliament and parliamentarians, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and all public authorities responsible for the administration of the country over which we Malaysians have entrusted upon them, to put in place the necessary legal safeguards to prevent miscarriages of justice and to uphold the principles of justice and equality as enjoined in the Holy Quran and enshrined in the federal constitution.

The Group of 25 eminent Malays consists of former top civil servants, judges, ambassadors and scholars.

Obama Urges Prime Minister Najib to apply the Rule of Law apolitically

March 13, 2015

Obama Urges Prime Minister Najib to apply the Rule of Law apolitically


Barack Obama

The White House today expressed its disappointment over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s guilty conviction for sodomy, and urged Putrajaya to apply the rule of law to promote confidence in the country’s democracy, judiciary and economy.

In a statement following the close of a petition launched by former US Ambassador to Malaysia John Malott to press for Anwar’s freedom, the Obama administration said the worry was compounded by the Malaysian government’s intention to expand the sedition law against critics, despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s promise to repeal it.

The statement said the US had made its concerns on Anwar’s conviction clear through statements and interactions with Putrajaya and would continue to do so.

“The initial decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, the decision to appeal the not guilty verdict, and the overturning of that verdict raise a number of serious concerns about the rule of law and the fairness of the judicial system in Malaysia,” the White House statement said.

It added that the two countries were committed to work together on the economy and security challenges, but said Washington would continue to urge Malaysia to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently and apolitically.

“History has shown that countries that uphold the human rights of all their citizens, regardless of their political affiliation, ethnicity, race, religion, or sexual orientation, are ultimately more prosperous and more stable, the White House said.

The petition for Anwar’s freedom achieved 113,122 signatures, more than the 100,000 required to qualify a response from the Obama administration.

The Federal Court on February 10 upheld Anwar’s sodomy conviction and his five-year jail sentence.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy said yesterday more than 60,000 signatures were removed from a counter-petition to the White House on Anwar because they originated from disposal email services.

From more than 70,000 signatures initially, the petition that took issue with the Washington’s stand on Anwar’s conviction was reinstated online with around 12,000 signatures.

“The White House did remove 60,789 signatures deemed to be fraudulent because a vast majority of those signatures originated from

“Other fraudulent signatures originated from trashmail, sharklasers, and mallinator – all disposable email services. Those fraudulent signatures occurred over the life of the petition,” the embassy added.

The counter petition was started nearly a month ago after the petition in support of Anwar’s freedom was launched.

It said Malaysians were “outraged” with the White House’s statement expressingJohn R. Malott2 disappointment with Anwar’s jailing, and told the US to “stop interfering in Malaysia’s judiciary and rule of law”.

Malott’s petition, “Make the release of Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim from prison a top priority for US policy towards Malaysia”, was also temporarily removed after standard fraud checks by the White House erroneously identified it as a petition with fraudulent signatures.

The embassy clarified on Wednesday that it was not the free Anwar petition but the counter petition which had fraudulent signatures.

The counter petition, titled “Respecting the Sovereign Nation of Malaysia”, reached 12,612 signatures as of this morning.



PAS MP debates DYMM Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Speech in Parliament

March 13, 2015

PAS MP debates DYMM Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Speech in Parliament

This is one of the best speeches I have the privilege to listen in recent years. The PAS MP severely criticised Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah’s conduct as DPP in the Anwar Ibrahim’s Case at the Federal Court. He said that Shafee was not truthful about the Federal Court judgement on February 10, 2015 which sent Anwar Ibrahim back to prison.

He asked Shafee to retract his statement labeling Anwar as “a closet homosexual” and for misleading the Malaysian public during the roadshow. Shafee’s conduct before, during and after the case was highlighted as unprecedented and unbecoming as a senior counsel. Prime Minister Najib Razak’s support of the Roadshow by Shafee was also condemned as displaying total ignorance of maqasid sharia.  Finally, please listen to the pedestrian response of the UMNO-BN MP who tried to defend Najib. –Din Merican