Purported rationale relating to RUU 355 by Cikgu Ramasamy Ketua MIC Bahagian Baling has no merit from legal point of view. He is simply echoing the justification advanced by Pas leaders when tabling RUU 355 or ACT 355 in Parliament. Earlier Pas leadership used to refer to RUU 355 as Hudud Bill. The last about 3 years they appear to have changed strategy and now refer to it as a Bill to enhance punishment imposing powers and not as Hudud. What they are doing now is re packaging of some Hudud offences as enhancing Shariah Courts punishment powers as marketing strategy so that people not know Hudud offences are being introduced.
The Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 11 Enactment 1993 which was passed by Kelantan State Legislature is still not repealed. Thus attempt by Tuan Hadi Awang to introduce Bill RUU 355 initially enabling all Hudud offences other than punishable by death. This would include offences of Theft, Robbery, Zina, Qazaf, Syurb ( drinking liquor) and apostasy.
It was later amended to empower states to mete out shariah punishments of not more than 30 years jail, rm 100,000/- fine and 100 lashes. Despite this amendment the Bill will still enable some Hudud offences such as Zina, Qazaf, Consumption of alcohol etc.
The claim that the Bill not affect non-Muslim rights is a lie.
Firstly the Proposed Bill is unconstitutional as it seeks to create a dual system of Criminal offences running parallel which cannot be done.
Then introduction of Hudud will undermine the basic structure of the constitution and the fundamental rights entrenched in the constitution. The Bill is also going against basic structure of the constitution.
Due to this far reaching consequences the BN component parties then comprising MCA, MIC under Subramaniam, SUPP and Gerakan had held press conference to reject completely the Hudud Bill called RUU 355.
What happens when an offence involves a Muslim and a non Muslim. The Muslim will have to go to Shariah Court. But where will the non-Muslim go. If it is rape then the non-Muslim must produce 4 Muslim male witnesses or 8 Muslim females to get a remedy.
Take another example. If a Muslim steals from a non-Muslim house then under Shariah the nonmuslim must produce 2 Muslim males or 4 Muslim females.
It is due to this the Malaysian Penal Code covers this offences where both Muslims and non-Muslims appear and their evidence is equal.
Thus the present safeguard in schedule 9 List 11 must be kept and cannot be breached.
The word Syariah Court and Shariah Law appeared in Schedule 9 of the constitution in September 1976 by amendment that is 19 years after independence. This proves that Shariah Law was never envisaged for Malaysia.
The BAR Council, the States of Sabah and Sarawak, numerous NGO’s. most political parties etc had opposed the Bill RUU 355 then.
In view of the above it is a shame to have people like Cikgu Ramasamy who is trying to mislead the simple MIC members instead of protecting their rights.
Legal Panel of MCCBCHST
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism