The Case for Tommy Thomas as the next AG


Note 1: Got this from OutSyedtheBox and it makes alot of sense
Note 2: It is reproduced verbatim (I only edited the layout for clarity) – the authentication is not confirmed

(After the major screw-up and yet to accept the reality of things, the guy on the left does not have enough trust and credibility to continue to be the Attorney General. The country needs a change – a drastic change that it. Image source: Free Malaysia Today)

DOES THE AG NEED TO BE A MALAY OR A MUSLIM? DOES HE HAVE TO ADVISE ON SYARIAH LAW?
By GK Ganesan Kasinathan, Advocate and Solicitor, Kuala Lumpur
03 June 2018

The nation is trundling towards a calamitous constitutional misunderstanding. Someone has to do something about it and set matters straight. Let us identify what is happening. A debate has begun to rage. It concerns the identity of the person who should be the next Attorney General.

It is about constitutional provisions regarding what characteristics the Attorney General should have—and whether the current nominee, Mr. Tommy Thomas has them.

Two conflicting ideas

At the heart of the debate are two conflicting statements:-

  • The first is the altruistic proposition that certain quarters ‘have no objection at all to a non-Malay being nominated as AG.’
  • The second is an opposite argument. It is that the AG should be ‘in a position to advise the palace on Syariah matters.’
  • And the third proposition, being a conclusionary one, is the argument ‘… that therefore a judge, or a retired judge of the Court of Appeal or the Federal Court ought to be appointed as AG.’ These arguments are deeply flawed.

Here are the reasons..

These arguments have no constitutional basis at all. In fact, the Federal Constitution says the opposite. Why is that? The rakyat should be allowed to interpret the Constitution. The rakyat should take part in this debate. They should look at the Constitution and inform themselves of the important aspects of this confusion. They should be taught to interpret the Constitution. It is their right. Lawyers should not be the only ones telling people what the law is.

So let us look at the Constitution.

The starting point is Article 145.

Answer to the claim AG ‘must advise on Syariah law.’ The first and most important opposition to the Administration — and Mahathir — comes from the argument that the ‘AG must be able to advise the King on Syariah matters’. This demand contradicts Constitutional provisions. This is because the Constitution exempts the AG from such a requirement. You will understand this readily, because the relevant part of Article 145(2), states:

– ‘145(2): It shall be the duty of the [AG] to advise the [King] or the Cabinet or any Minister upon… legal matters, and to perform… duties of a legal character,… and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other written law.

So what it says here is that the AG must discharge the duties that the Constitution asks him to. What power does the Constitution give him? That is explained by Art 145(3). It states:

– ‘145(3): The [AG] shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial.’ Clause 3 prohibits the AG from dealing with proceedings before Syariah Courts and Military Courts.

As far as Syariah matters are concerned the AG has no role. No one would disagree that the King must have the very best Syariah advisor—an expert. Were previous AGs experts on Syariah Law? Was Gani Patail an expert on Syariah law? Was Apandi? How come no one objected then?

So how can the AG be now compelled to perform a duty — or exercise a power — that the Constitution has taken away from him? Why is the AG now being asked to advise on something that the Constitution tells him is none of his business? The person to advise the King on Syariah law cannot be a retired judge.

The fifth argument is that the nominee for the AG ‘must be either an existing or a retired Federal Court judge or a Court of Appeal judge; for, that way he can render legal advise on Syariah matters’. This argument is a non-starter. Again there is a clear instruction from the Constitution on this.

Apart from informing the AG what matters over which the AG has powers to act on, the Constitution goes one step further.

Secular courts are non-Syariah courts: i.e. the Magistrate Courts, Sessions Courts, High Court, Court of Appeal and the Federal Courts: [Article 121 defines the secular courts].

The Constitution expressly removes from all secular courts any power that is only a Syariah Court can exercise.

Clause (1A) says:- ‘The courts referred to in Clause (1) [read, ‘secular courts’] shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any matter within the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts.’

The Syariah judicial system works under a different set of laws. They have their own courts, their own judges, and their own lawyers. They are independent of the Judiciary.

Therefore if Syariah law advice is needed, their Highnesses have ample Syariah resources available at their disposal. If so, how can candidates be chosen from the retired or existing list of the secular Federal Court or the Court of Appeal judges? From them have been removed the power to deal with Syariah matters. It stands to reason that they, no matter what race or religion they profess, would have had no formal legal training on Syariah law at all.

So why ask to choose from a group who possess no Syariah knowledge at all? So the argument that the AG ‘must be able to advise on Syariah matters’ argument is a red fish! It is simply not true.

What qualities must a candidate for an AG have?

The next question to ask oneself is, who can be appointed as the AG? Article 145(1) answers the question in this way:

– ‘145(1): The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint a person who is qualified to be a judge of the Federal Court to be the Attorney General for the Federation.’

Note the phrase, ‘a person qualified to be a judge of the Federal Court’. Who is that?

That is explained in Article 123. It prescribes that a nominee for an AG must be (a) a citizen and (b) for the last 10 years before his appointment he shall have been ‘an advocate’; or ‘a member of the Judicial and Legal service’ (this differs from judges in the Courts – do not confuse them as one), or a mixture of both. It does not mean he must be a Federal Court or Court of Appeal Judge. He must only be one who is ‘qualified to be’ one.

From which pool would you choose your AG, given the choice?

As a matter of choice where would you choose the AG to come from? Let us examine the pool of resources available to the Prime Minister. Suppose there are about 1,800 lawyers in the AG’s Chambers [AGC]: that is about right. Suppose we assume that at least 500 AGC lawyers in AGC have crossed the ‘10 year practice’ mark (the numbers could be far lower]. Then at least 500 persons qualify to be the AG.

Now, the Malaysian Bar has ten times more lawyers than the AGC. It had, at the latest count, over 18,000 members. Of that number [I extrapolate] there are over 9,000 lawyers who qualify under this Art 123 — they have crossed the ‘10 years of continued practice’ requirement. They are all citizens.

Go now to the judiciary as a source. If you add the total number of judges in the Federal Court and the Court of Appeal that does not cross 45. A great proportion of those judges are from the AG’s Chambers: some say as high as 90%. As a matter of choice, where would you choose the AG from? From the largest pool of 9,00 members, or a lesser pool of 500 lawyers from AG’s chambers, or from a smaller pool of 45 judges from the Judiciary— the latter of which is already under attack?

Equality of all candidates not matter of race

The sixth point is, the Constitution, which upholds equality as its central core (read Article 8 of the Constitution), does not prevent a non-Malay from being appointed an AG. If our forefathers thought it necessary, they would have inserted that proscription into the Constitution. Had they done it, that would have been against all known conventions of human rights. They have not.

Our forebears were reasonable people. They saw this issue and catered for it. The framers of the Constitution were men of great foresight. So why manipulate that intent by specious arguments of non-existent ‘conventions,’ conventions which are against human rights?

So there is no racial restriction in the Constitution. So that argument too goes out of the window.

The King ‘shall appoint’ Clause (1) of Article 145 states that His Majesty the King ‘shall’ on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint as AG a person proposed by the Prime Minister. This is what it says:

– ‘145(1): The yang di-Pertuan Agong shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint a person who is qualified to be a judge of the Federal Court to be the Attorney General for the Federation.’

Note the word, ‘shall’. It is mandatory.

The binding nature of the Prime Minister’s proposal is buttressed by an explanatory clause in Art. 40(1A): It says:

– ‘In in the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law, where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is to act in accordance with advice, on advice, or after considering advice, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall accept and act in accordance with such advice.’

The phrase ‘shall accept and act in accordance with such advice’ points to a mandatory requirement. There is a reason for this. The functioning of a valid government cannot be stultified by delay.

The Manifesto Point

The seventh argument is: ‘In appointing a non-Parliamentarian, Mahathir has departed from the Harapan manifesto that the AG shall be an MP.’

Many points answer this vacuous argument. The manifesto point is readily overcome. Second, I have said elsewhere, the AG ought to be an MP answerable to the people, through parliament. I have suggested that the Constitution ought to be changed to effect that. The Committee for Institutional Reform is engaged in just that.

Like the Council of Eminent Persons, they have had no rest. They are burning the candle at both ends. They are inundated with all manner of papers. They will suggest amendments—in good time. But until that change is done, the law, as it stands, must be complied with. There is no countervailing argument against that. There is, fortunately, a Half-Way House solution.

It is embedded into the Constitution. Art. 61 of the Constitution, which states, ‘(2) Either house of parliament may appoint as a member of any of its committees the [AG]… notwithstanding that he is not a member of that house.’

So, through this side-door, Parliament may, after it convenes, ask the AG to be appointed into its committees. The Committees may ask him to answer questions. In this way the current AG can be brought into Parliament’s deliberations.

So these concerns are easily alleviated. So any allegation that ‘Harapan has breached its Manifesto’ is really no issue at all.

Parliament has a right to override the King on executive matters

The King has executive authority over the Federation. That authority is, however, not absolute. It is subject to the dictates of Parliament: this is because Art 39 states:

‘The executive authority of the Federation shall be vested in the yang di Pertuan Agong and exercisable… by him or by the Cabinet or any Minister authorised by the Cabinet, … but parliament may by law confer executive functions on other persons.’

The AG’s appointment, under the current law, is an exercise of executive authority. If the King does not act on the advice of the Prime Minister, the Constitution grants another route to Parliament. In matters of governance, the primacy of Parliament is constitutionally entrenched. But Parliament has not been convened. That time is not yet come. It will. But can we wait till then?

The power of the Conference of Rulers

The final argument in the opposition’s quiver is that the Conference of Rulers have an absolute power to object to any suggestion of the Prime Minister. This is incorrect. True it is that the Conference of Rulers have certain ‘discretionary’ powers. Article 38 lays it out in great detail. They have a right to be consulted on certain matters.

These are listed with some care: these deal with matters relating the appointment of the King, e.g., include any matter relating to the special position of the Malay rulers, the Islamic religion or the rights of Malays under Article 153 (Reservation of quotas in the services, permits etc. for Malays). True also it is that that Art. 38(2)(c) states that the Conference of Rulers shall exercise its functions of consultation by —

‘… consenting or withholding consent to any law and making or giving advice on any appointment which under this Constitution requires the consent of the Conference or is to be made by or after consultation with the Conference’.

Some argue that Clause (6) gives the Conference of Rulers the right of carte blanche— blank cheque; that that it is ‘an absolute right’. This is what the relevant part of Clause (6) says — … the members of the Conference of Rulers may act in their discretion in any proceedings relating to the following functions, that is to say… (c) consenting or withholding consent to any law and making or giving advice on any appointment which under this Constitution requires the consent of the Conference or is to be made by or after consultation with the Conference; In constitutional theory, the personal prerogative of the monarch is said to contradict democracy.

On a proper reading of Clause 6, this personal power is not absolute.

  • First, much of the strength of these prerogative power are diluted by constitutional principles.
  • Second, other clauses in the Constitution severely limit that power.
  • Third, the ‘right to consultation’ cannot mean an ‘absolute right to refuse.’

That is why the Constitution, with great care, has said, their Highnesses ‘may act in their discretion.’ This discretion is called ‘royal prerogative.’ Blackstone described it as the powers that ‘the king enjoys alone, in contradistinction to others, and not to those he enjoys in common with any of his subjects.’ So they are are ‘personal prerogatives.’ But the principles underlying the exercise of prerogatives have been uniformly accepted without contradiction across the world.

It is for that reason such prerogatives are carefully circumscribed. The way the words in clause 6 are crafted is a call to exercise, in their Highnesses discretion, one of the most fundamental provisions of the Rule of Law: when a constitutional discretion is granted, it cannot be exercised arbitrarily.

So the exercise of the ‘personal prerogative’ must seek to achieve the equality principle rooted as the basic fabric of the Constitution. It must be subject to transparency and good governance. It cannot be exercised arbitrarily. It cannot be exploited capriciously. Such a discretion must be exercised in a way that will aid democracy and uphold the Rule of Law. The words must be construed to comply with the spirit of the Constitution and the Will of the People.

Conclusion

Parliament is not in session. Not yet. Yet someone has to carry the burden of the AG. Charges have to be filed. People have to be hauled up before the courts.

The Cabinet is busy answering a hundred, perhaps a thousand urgent calls upon its time. This amidst the urgent concern that economic matters should be dealt with alacrity. Manifesto or no, Mahathir has to stop the haemorrhage.

The Cabinet cannot hang about. Time is of the essence. Mahathir has to act now. Those who delay the appointment of the AG are doing a great disservice to the toils of an elderly patriot trying to right a wayward ship. These detractors are playing into the hands of the pilferers who have purloined billions from our coffers. They sit pretty, smiling from their strongholds. They think nothing will come upon them so long as they keep raising one constitutional crises after another, and trigger as much unease and delay as possible.

That is why they are delaying the appointment of the AG. They wish to feel safe. They think the GE 14 is a pyrrhic victory. They feel they are untouchable. They must be stopped. As a nation we cannot sit idly by, while these detractors stultify the rakyat’s hard-won victory

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Hudud: 1 country, 2 sets of laws?


2 laws

(Should Islamic law take over precedent over conventional law if the conventional already exist and been applied by the courts of the country? The same case for hudud now. Why not improve on the existing laws and enforce it instead of bringing in another set of law that does not apply to all? Why reinvent the wheel? Cartoon source: The Net)

The issue of hudud have been in the news lately and there have been plenty of statements made in public and by various parties including politicians from both side of the fence, supporting for or opposing the implementation of hudud.

Before anyone starts to jump up & down and argues that the non-Muslims should stay out of it and keep their silence on the issue of hudud since it will only be imposed on the Muslims and nothing further than that, let’s clear our minds for a moment and let’s try to understand why there have been so much objection, noise and comments by the non-Muslims on something that does not affect them in the first place.

An article by Mariam Mokhtar over at FMT may explain this further. It makes a lot of sense and shows that we have a long way to go before we can implement something called hudud which at the end of the day, will affect us all – both Muslims and non Muslims.

Reject hudud before it destroys our lives

How often have Muslim clerics, the National Fatwa Council or the Islamic institutions spoken against corrupt and immoral leaders? How often have they highlighted the injustices, in particular the deaths in custody or the murders of people who are linked to the echelons of power? When did they last criticise people who openly abuse power?

Those of us who oppose hudud do so not because we are anti-Islam but because we do not trust the people who will implement hudud. In Malaysia religious and controversial topics like hudud elicit six responses, all of them unsatisfactory.

First: Those who hate Umno Baru will say, “Bring it on! We want to see hudud being used on Umno Baru ministers and politicians. Let us see how they will cope without limbs!”

This is just wishful thinking. Thinking without any rationality does not help the debate on hudud. No-one in the Umno-Baru elite has been punished for the thousands of injustices perpetrated today, from rapes of maids to “rasuah”, or theft of taxpayers’ money to the taking of lives by powerful people.

Criminals escape punishment not because we have insufficient laws, but because the laws are not enforced and our judiciary is corrupt to the core. Umno-Baru ministers have always escaped punishment. Who honestly thinks that hudud will escape manipulation?

Second: Those who propose the implementation of hudud claim that hudud will result in a crime-free (or relatively low crime) state. Wrong! Which nation under hudud has a low crime rate, negligible rape and no corruption? PAS Kelantan cannot perform miracles.

Corrupt leaders and institutions thrive because the systems to check them, have failed. They fail because the people who should be enforcing them are not trustworthy or have a secret agenda. Once we start to administer laws without fear or favour, crime rates may drop.

Third: If you are a Muslim and you oppose hudud, it means that you are going against Islam. Nothing could be more insulting to any decent God-fearing Muslim. Islam encourages the acquisition of knowledge and encourages debate, but Malay Muslims appear reluctant to engage in intelligent discourse. Why?

In Malaysia, Malay Muslims accept archaic laws or traditional thinking and beliefs without question. Last month a retired judge criticised the presence of large statues at the entrance to the Batu Caves and in Penang. In Egypt, the land of 95% Muslims, few worry about the presence of the Sphinxes.

Kartika Dewi Sukarno was charged with drinking beer in a public place. She was treated like someone who had committed a heinous crime, like murder. The Muslim clergy wanted to make a showcase of her, by punishing her with whipping even though civil laws prevent women from being whipped, in Malaysia.

Soon after, three women were whipped in secret, for having extramarital sex. No details are known of the men. The government was afraid of a backlash like the Kartika case. The three women and Kartika were punished, whereas well-connected people who drink freely, and fornicate in five-star hotels and exclusive clubs in Kuala Lumpur escape scot free.

Fourth: If you are a non-Muslim and you made your views known about hudud as any responsible Malaysian would, some Muslims will attack you and say, “You have no right to comment. You are not even Muslim.”

Another response might be, “You have nothing to fear as you are not Muslim. Hudud will not affect you.” Wrong again! A woman was charged in Penang under syariah law even though she was not a Muslim.

In a recent child conversion case, the father kidnapped his son, even though his former wife, a Hindu, had been given custody of their child. There have been other miscarriages of justice when bodies have been snatched and taken for “Muslim” burial.

Who says that non-Muslims will not be affected by Muslim laws? Hudud will creep into your lives, sooner or later.

Fifth: Some Muslims will say that it is God’s law and Muslims must abide by it. As we have seen, civil or syariah laws have been manipulated by evil, unscrupulous and corrupt men, to suit their own selfish agendas.

One girl I know, was forced into marriage because her neighbour, whose advances she had rejected, accused her of having sex with her boyfriend. She is now a sad divorcee with children, and she freely admits, “We were forced into marriage to avoid humiliation for both our families. We married to avoid a prison sentence, but still had to pay a fine.

“The neighbour was wrong to accuse us and call the moral police. He wrecked our lives. Eventually, we had children and I had to stay at home to look after them. I regret ending my studies and I think my boyfriend resented me. We were both young, but we were wronged.”

Another woman was set up by her husband. He wrongly accused his first wife of infidelity so that he could marry a younger woman. He beat his first wife and she left him. He refused to grant her a divorce, and he will not help with the upkeep of the children. He married in southern Thailand and simply paid a nominal fine, when he returned to Malaysia, for failing to register the marriage and for not seeking the permission of his first wife.

Syariah failed both these women and one doubts if hudud would reduce the discrimination against women, the poor and the marginalised. Several homosexual Muslim men and women lead secret lives in Malaysia or have emigrated. What would happen to them under hudud? Aren’t they God’s creatures, too?

The sixth response is apathy. Yours! The Allah case has divided this nation, because a few men held their tongues. They were afraid to go against one man who had a personal agenda against another party. Speak out now, before hudud destroys our lives.

(Source)

Firstly, there is a valid reason why the non-Muslim are very concerned with the idea of hudud. Yes, it only applies to the Muslims for now but once this is in place and implemented wide spread, what is the assurance that it will not be expended to cover the non-Muslims as well – all in the name of standardisation and to weed out double standards?

It will never happen, you say? Well, think again:-

The drama unfolded when Takiyuddin questioned Md Alwi’s statement to the press outside the House on Wednesday that the PAS-led Kelantan government was inconsistent in banning gambling but allowing non-Muslims to consume and sell alcohol. Takiyuddin said the government had never condoned alcohol consumption in Kelantan as it was against Islamic teachings.

Later, at a press conference outside the house, Md Alwi clarified that the Kelantan government practised double standards. “If they had banned gambling activities they should also ban alcohol consumption for both Muslims and non-Muslims,’’ he said.

(Source)

And this:-

PAS Kelantan State Government should rescind the ban of liquor sale by the Tanah Merah district council ordering coffee shops and restaurants to stop selling alcoholic drinks, including beer and stout and issue a similar directive to all local councils in the state.

It has been reported that the directive, contained in a letter dated August 8 and signed by council secretary Ruslan Hassan was hand-delivered to several Chinese-owned coffee shops and restaurants in the district, giving them a grace period of 15 days to clear their stocks.

(Source)

And this:-

Hair dressing salon operators are learning the hard way that gender segregation rules in Kelantan apply to non-Muslims as well. They have had to pay many summonses for allowing their female workers to cut the hair of non-Muslim male patrons, which they thought was permissible. E-Life Hair Salon manager Ong Lee Ting said she had settled 11 summonses since she opened for business in KB Mall in 2010.

Gender segregation is among the controversial regulations imposed by the PAS state government, which insists that the rule be also observed at supermarket check-outs. The last time Ong went to the local council office to pay a compound, she was told that the licence for the salon would be revoked because of the many summonses issued to the operator.

However, council secretary Mohd Anis Hussein said: “As long as they (the salon owners) pay the compounds, they will be allowed to operate.”

(Source)

And lately this:-

Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) officers allegedly asked two non-Muslim students questions about the Islamic faith as part of a scholarship interview in Sarawak over the weekend.

The students were left speechless after being asked to name the prophets of Islam, the rukun (precepts) of Islamic prayers, and their opinion on the controversial hudud law, among others.

They are now afraid that their inability to answer the questions would affect their applications for university scholarships under the Indigenous People’s Trust Council.

(Source)

What will happen if a Muslim and non Muslim been caught under the same crime? Will they be treated under a different justice system with 2 different outcomes – one jailed for x number of years and another with his limbs amputated? For how long you expect them to be treated under a different justice system with 2 different outcomes before someone comes up and claims double standard and asks for both to have their limbs chopped off?

There are already some morons in this country calling fellow Malaysians infidels just because some of us profess to difference religion and insists on overriding everyone to come up on a Islamic state (where they were all these years when Malaysia is branded as a country with multiple race, religion & culture?). Yes, now they will say that it applies only for Muslims but in the near future, what’s stopping them from asking why the “minority infidels” are not subjected to the same law of the “majority. It is only fair, right? I am sure even then they will chant the mantra “don’t let ‘infidels’ decide on hudud”

Secondly, even though one may argue that hudud only applies to the Muslims, it is part and parcel of the Islamic teaching and is needed to curtail the escalating crime rate, the thing is why we need 2 sets of laws in this country that only creates sheer confusion to all Malaysians – both Muslims and non Muslims alike.

Just take a look at the case of S. Deepa who had won the custody of their two children at the civil High Court, only for someone to come along and kidnap her son:-

The police will not investigate a Muslim father accused of abducting his six-year-old son despite a civil High Court awarding custody to the Hindu mother, the country’s police chief said today. Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the father, a Hindu-turned-Muslim who now goes by the name Izwan Abdullah, had also won custody at the Shariah High Court.

Jelebu district police chief Setapa Yusof was reported by The Star daily earlier today saying the police were unable to take action due to the two conflicting court orders.

“As far as we are concerned, we cannot investigate Izwan for abducting his son. We have to respect and obey the orders issued by both courts,” he told The Star yesterday.

(Source)

In the above case, S Deepa does not have any recourse in the Syariah Court simply because she is not a Muslim (thus the case should not have gone to the Syariah Court in the first place) Where is the fairness when only one appears before the court and argues the case. And despite the High Court order came after the Syariah Court’s order and thus should in effect supersedes it (by this definition that the Syariah Court being an inferior court to the High Court) and makes S Deepa the legal guardian of the children, the police had decided upon themselves to say that both orders are valid and both has custody to the same child. So it has ended of who kidnap who first and the police had to look the other way in this case?

But you cannot blame them too – the confusion is there and the Government is keeping its silence on the matter and yet to come out to state the obvious. There is no clear precedent from the various court cases as well. After all, when the Parliament amended the Article 121 of the Constitution that created the Syariah Courts, it is unlikely it wanted the newly created Syariah courts to be in direct conflict with the existing civil courts.

Let’s set aside the issue of confusion for a second and look into the urgency and effectiveness instead.

The thing is, there NEVER been an issue of a serious lack of laws and rules in this country to cover the various offences. We made a wise move by adopting the Englishman’s law (or rather Indian & Australian penal codes) when we got our independence from the British. At least we did not had to create it from the scratch. We did not drop it despite it was the law of a “coloniser”. And despite having the Muslims as the majority back then, we did not opt to instil the Islamic law and choose to do what the Arabs did or go on own way. And over the years, we have repealed some laws, enacted some new ones and strengthened some of the existing ones.

We have always done that and the law had always worked to ensure fair play, justice, better protection and deserving punishments. So why now, there is an urgent need bring in the hudud laws? What is the shortcomings in the civil law that cannot be improved and can only be rectified by implementing hudud laws? And how one can say that hudud will be more effective in curtailing the crime rates than the conventional criminal laws? We need the promoters of the hudud laws to further clarify this. Perhaps they will argue that by chopping one’s hands, this guarantees the criminal will not be able to steal again. Ya, it makes sense but what happens if this person is found guilty due to an error by the witness or framed by someone else or a loophole in the law and only later after various appeals and perhaps new evidence, he was found to be innocent? Can he get back his hands?

Why not instead focus on the current shortcoming of the current civil law? And a large aspect of it boils down to the enforcement of the law. In some cases, a severe case of double standards and selective enforcement of the law. After all, these days, one wrong Facebook post of a politician’s wife could get the police to drop everything and swiftly arrest you. But the similar thing happens for the opposition MP (an elected one), nothing really moves. If the matter is something petty, then why the swift action on former’s case? And if it is the law, then why no action on the latter’s case? You see my point here? If the punishment is not severe enough, why not just amend the existing laws and impose a higher jail terms or whipping by the cane?

As a nation, we are already blundered big time many times over by having different economic policies to different sectors of Malaysians and different education system and political preference based on race, religion and culture, why  strive to disunite the nation even further by having different set of laws for different class of Malaysians? Still striving for developed nation status by 2020? Throw in the lack of enforcement and selective enforcement into the wood works and it will only be bad news for the country. Is this what we want at end of the day?

The non Muslims, frankly speaking, are not against hudud if it is implemented for the Muslims only and it is done fairly and without any bias but unfortunately, they have seen enough to know that it will not be the case. They are wary of the warning – hudud will creep into your lives, sooner or later. They are wary of the overzealous officials in enforcing the Islamic laws and this spilling over to affect the non Muslims (there already too many examples in the state of Kelantan, the very place they want to introduce the hudud laws). They are wary of the those entrusted with the necessary authority to be fair and unbiased when judging the law and applying it in the most equitable way to all Malaysian (such in the case of S. Deepa).

So just, prove to us that it only will apply on Muslims and hudud is being implemented only because there is a serious shortcomings in the current civil laws and we will stop worrying and make a big fuss about it.

Here We Go Again!


I really wonder whether we will ever cross the finishing line to be a developed country if highly political and seditious matters are played on public grounds on regular basis, turning one Malaysian against another based on hearsays, political hidden agendas and highly charged emotions.

(It is ok to fight for one’s religion and beliefs but it should be a fight for the betterment of the mankind and not be used for political means. Image source: http://sathyasaibaba.wordpress.com)

It used to be the crosses on some cookies or the logo on a famed football club or “Christian” names on some schools.

Frankly, I do not know which of this is more serious – a sickening criminal who been going around splashing acid on innocent people whom victims included young students and a year old baby OR the rumors that has been going on that there are certain people in this country wanting to make Christianity as the official religion of this country.

In the case of the acid splasher, the frightening thing of the matter has been this – about 20 people has been splashed with acid todate (one with severe burns that almost blinded her left eye) but the police yet to gain any lead to catch this maniac. Unfortunately the attention of the nation as at now seems to be lying on the other case of stupidity in the horizon. It is rather reckless of the mainstream media to have published this news which even if it is true in one’s wildest imagination, should have been left to the police to investigate and prosecute.

There is a danger that whoever reads the unsubstantiated story in the newspaper may construe it wrongly and may make decisions based on emotions rather than informed facts.

Still remember the 9 churches which were burned down last year over the “Allah” fiasco? Despite having a court order granting the use of the word “Allah” and that too after 2 years legal due process, Malaysia ended seeing the uglier side of religion extremists. After all, no one in their right mind and with strong religion convictions would burn down another’s place of religion.

The parties involved have denied the allegations and even called the reporting as “playing dangerous politics”. Now both sides have made police report and the police will soon have to use it’s already stretched resources to investigate this – valuable resources that could have been better utilized to do other things such as catch the acid splasher. But what happens if the police have investigated and that the claim by the newspaper is not true. Then what happens – will the blogger and the newspaper who published the allegations be made responsible for their actions?

Let’s trace back to 2006 where there was allegations via SMS in the State of Perak that 600 Muslim students is going to be converted into Christianity – apparently started by the Mufti of Perak himself based on hearsays. No doubt, pandemonium broke out and the church was soon surrounded by angry Muslim protestors. Thankfully the police was at hand to keep things in control and in the end, the SMS was found to be untrue. The Mufti disclaimed responsibility by saying he relied on someone else for the source of the allegations and he did not really investigated the truthfulness of the allegations but continued to spread the news to others. Read further here.

There seems to be a similar chain of events here – allegations made and picked up by someone who deemed to have some sense of responsibility (in this case, Government controlled mainstream media).

But the question that arises – can Christianity really be made as the national religion as claimed by the newspaper? Is it really that easy to change the constitution? Can the Christians gain enough seats in the Parliament to even have the votes to make the change? The truth of the matter is it will not happen – not now and certainly not in the near future. Islam will remain the national religion of Malaysia and everyone including the Christians has acknowledged this.

Malaysiakini as mentioned in LKS quotes:-

Renowned constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari has dismissed Utusan Malaysia’s article on a supposed conspiracy to make Christianity Malaysia’s official religion as “ridiculous”.

“Constitutionally it is just illogical. It cannot happen, just impossible. Even if Pakatan controlled hundred percent of the Dewan Rakyat.

“Remember that the Senate which has similar powers to the lower house when it comes to constitutional amendments, is not under their control as some of the senators belong to Umno-BN.”

He argued that technically the upper house can block the amendment passed by the Dewan Rakyat. Abdul Aziz contended that the provisions on the subject matters – monarchy, Islam and the Malays – are simply beyond the ordinary political process.

So, even if there were calls for change of the national religion and to have a Christian PM as purported by the newspaper – it is not going to happen for a fact. Christians simply do not have the numbers to make it happen (remember there is still the Buddhists, Hindus and others that they need to content with). So, why the big concern of this in the newspaper and in the blogsphere? Why now?

At this juncture, I have to agree with the former PM’s contention that the current Federal Government has gone weak. But I disagree that the Government is weak due to not having the two-third majority. It is certainly not. It is weak because it failed to act on both ends – act against accusers who spread lies and allegations and act fast against the accused and investigate the truthfulness of the allegations. It has become a Government who put their foot down for the wrong reasons.

Certainly somewhere in our journey after gaining our independence 54 years ago, we have gotten our priorities wrong. No wonder we still have a maniac with acid on the loose. I pray that sanity will soon return to our “Bolehland” in the next few days.

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