Saturday, May 3, 2014

Challenge Kelantan’s hudud law in Federal Court

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
KUALA LUMPUR:  Groups who are unhappy with the proposed hudud laws in Kelantan are welcomed to challenge it in court, said a PAS federal lawmaker in a forum last night.

“Only the Federal Court can decide the legitimacy of hudud law.  Let’s leave it as it is.  If it is unconstitutional, you can challenge it in court,” said Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin of PAS in a forum entitled Hudud in Malaysia.
“But it is cruel for you to say that it is unconstitutional because you are implying that only your opinion is true,” added Hanipa who is also PAS legal counsel.
The PAS led Kelantan government would be tabling two private member bills in Parliament in June to implement hudud by next year.
Currently the state has the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Court Enactment in 1993 but is powerless to implement it.
The BN led federal government on its part established a national level technical committee to oversee the implementation of hudud.
Hanipa also denied that the hudud bill for Kelantan, if passed would change the characteristic of the federal constitution.
“Our Federal  Constitution is neither Islamic nor secular. Changing that would only happen if we have two third majority in parliament,” he said at the forum that was held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.
He said this in response to civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan who highlighted the various challenges that the bills would face.
According to the lawyer, apart from the two bills, PAS also needs to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 with a simple majority.
The act only provides for a maximum of three year imprisonment, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the rotan.
Hudud involves a higher degree of penalty.
The second challenge is with regards to jurisdiction of the state and federal government.  The Second List provides Syariah law related to family and inheritance law whereas the first,  covers civil, criminal laws and internal security.
Another hurdle is in Article 76A that provides  the parliament the power to authorize state to create a law.
He added that there would be hurdles in terms of implementing hudud. The hudud law if passed would would contradict Article 8 that provides for equality.
“There is also a chance to offend Art 7(2) which is the rule against double jeopardy. And for all these there needs to be constitutional amendments,” he said.