Islam Unhealthy To Have Two Sets Of Criminal Law (from Malaysia)

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Jun 17, 2004
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THOSE who are used to Kelantan Menteri Besar Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat understand him as a person who sounds tough but can be quite humane when pressured for a fair deal.

I remember when leading a Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (MCCBCHS) delegation to Kota Baru, Kelantan, in the early 1990s, Nik Aziz was insistent for the most part of the meeting on the implementation of the hudud laws in the State.

However, he was quite cordial and respectful of our views. He kept on assuring us that the new laws would not infringe on our own respective religion and customs.

We parted most amicably with him agreeing to consider our views while, at the same time, he requested us
to study his proposal.

Within a few weeks he had sent us the decision of his government not to impose the hudud laws and
other syariah laws on non- Muslims.

We were also aware of the fact that the Parliament must amend the Federal Constitution before the
Kelantan government can implement the law.

Our council then went on a nationwide campaign meeting all political party leaders not to support any amendment to the Constitution.

The problem we have in this country is that our non- Muslim MPs from the ruling party from Peninsular and
East Malaysia voted in 1988 in favour of amendment of the Federal Constitution's

Article 121(1) and (1A) severely diminishing the power of the Civil Courts.

The irony was that Nik Aziz restored the freedom of non-Muslims to build temples and churches, and the demolition of places of worship was prevented and settled by discussion.

Even the Lion dances banned before was brought back again in the 1990s in Kelantan.

As religious organisation leaders, we found it embarrassing to criticise the Kelantan government's restrictions on alcohol, gambling and vice.

However, it is my personal opinion that hudud laws and all other Islamic laws should not be implemented
in Malaysia, given our multi-racial and multireligious population.

It is not healthy to have two sets of criminal laws, and for Muslims and non- Muslims to face different punishments for the same offences.

Datuk A. Vaithilingam
Former President
MCCBCHST

http://www.mmail.com.my/content/83099-unhealthy-have-two-sets-criminal-laws
 
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