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Inclusive, Open and Rational Debates and Dialogues on Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code

With regards to the controversial proposal to enforce Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code II (1993) 2015 [KSCC], we the undersigned organisations call for inclusive, open and rational debates and deliberation involving all stakeholders.

Specifically, we hold the following views:

1.The KSCC has far reaching implications way beyond the Hudud (fixed) punishments for theft, robbery, adultery, sodomy, false accusation of adultery/sodomy, intoxication and heresy. It also covers the Qisas (retaliatory) punishments for homicide and bodily injury which are currently governed by the Penal Code and the Ta’zir (discretionary) punishments when the Hudud and Q isas punishments cannot be imposed, for example because of failure to meet requirement of evidence. Currently, these four categories of offences: theft, robbery, homicide and bodily injury are governed by Penal Code with the evidence requirement laid down by the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

The KSCC must therefore be read and construed together with the Kelantan Syariah Court Evidence Enactment 2002 (KSCEE) which, by way of sub-section 39(2) of KSCC, imposes its complementary evidence requirements for theft, robbery, homicide and bodily injury. The misleading calls to support or oppose the Hudud punishments therefore dangerously divert the public attention to the full ramifications of the KSCC. Such simplistic positioning must be replaced with honest, comprehensive and detailed scrutiny of the KSCC and KSCEE.

2.While non-Muslims are excluded from the KSCC as the accused party, such exclusion does not apply to them as the victims. Non-Muslims are therefore also legitimate stakeholders. As stipulated in Section 2 of the KSCC, all cases of theft, robbery, homicide and bodily injury involving Muslims as the accused party will be tried under the law. Amongst the implications are

a.Non-Muslims, women, under-aged persons and adult male Muslims who are not “just” (namely, who have not abided religious requirements) will not have full testifying competence in Syariah Court. [Section 41 of the Code, and Sections 83 and 86 of KSCEE]

b.When the prosecution cannot produce testimonies by two “just” adult male Muslims in murder cases, the court can only impose Ta’zir punishments which exclude death penalty, resulting in great inequality before the law. [Sections 29, 39 of the KSCC]

3.The law will apply to not only Kelantaneses but anyone residing in or travelling to Kelantan. Non-Kelantaneses are therefore also legitimate stakeholders. This is especially true for Sabahans and Sarawakians whose founding fathers and mothers did not sign up for a Federation of Malaysia with Syariah criminal justice in any of its parts. Amongst the implications are

a.All Muslims including Sabahans and Sarawakians who are accused of stealing or robbing will be tried in Syariah Court and if the goods involved reaches the value of 4.45 grams of gold (about RM 620 at current price) may face the punishment of amputation. [Sections 6-11 of the KSCC]

b.All Muslims including Sabahans and Sarawakians who are convicted of adultery or sodomy in Kelantan may face death penalty by way of stoning. [Sections 12-15 of the KSCC]

c.All Muslims including Sabahans and Sarawakians who are convicted of drinking in Kelantan may face 40 to 80 lashes. [Section 22 of the KSCC]

d.All Muslims including Sabahans and Sarawakians who are convicted of heresy [irtidad or riddah] may face death penalty and forfeiture of all properties. [Section 23 of the KSCC]

4.As all Malaysians, Muslims or non-Muslims, Kelantanese or non-Kelantanese, are rightful stakeholders in the enforcement of KSCC, no one should be penalised, threatened or ridiculed for having or expressing any opinion on the matter. We solemnly condemn any act or expression of hatred aiming to silence dissidents. All stakeholders – whether supporting or opposing the KSCC – must strive for inclusive, open and rational debates and dialogues to respect differences, foster understanding and seek consensus. It must not be a crime for any Malaysian to disagree with any other.

5.While Malaysians may hold vastly opposing views on the specific mechanisms (wasail) of Syariah law in criminal justice, we can and should strive for convergence in attaining the universal purpose (maqosid) of Syariah Law, justice. Instead of battling pragmatic difficulties, the advocates of Syariah law should consider the alternative of concentrating their efforts on introducing ideas compatible for our plural society from the rich Syariah tradition that may improve quality of justice and at the same time do not cause any discrimination to or unnecessary segregation of citizens on the grounds of religion, ethnicity, gender and lifestyle. The success of Islamic banking in winning over the hearts and minds of non-Muslims through rigour and proven benefits, rather than a deceiving assurance of non-Muslim exclusion or a sloppy “trial-and-error” attitude, should be an inspiring example.

6.The implementation of KSCC must not be decided on a winner-takes-all manner, such as a simple majority in Dewan Rakyat which risks tearing the country apart. The inclusive spirit of the Federal Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement which lay down the secular basis of the Federation of Malaysia must be upheld.

Endorsed by the following organisations:

1.All Women  Action Society (AWAM) 妇女行动组织
2.Anak Muda Harapan Malaysia (AMHM) 马来西亚希望青年
3.Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN) 马来西亚和平力量组织
4.Archdiocesan Human Development Commission (AHDC) Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 沙巴州哥打京那巴鲁天主教人文发展委员会
5.Baramkini (Sarawak) 当今峇南(砂拉越)
6.Belia Saint Aloysius Limbanak, Sabah沙巴州林巴纳圣埃洛伊斯青年
7.Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiM) 婆罗洲马来西亚苦难基金会
8.Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia, Sarawak (BRIMAS) 马来西亚婆罗洲资源研究中心,砂拉越
9.Consumer Association And Protection Sabah (CAPS) 沙巴州维护消费人协会
10.Cornerstone Resources Berhad, Sabah沙巴州基础资源
11.Damn the Dams, Sarawak 砂拉越反水坝小组
12.ENGAGE愿景工程
13.Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (PRIMA) 马来西亚印裔组织总会
14.Friends of Kota Damansara哥打达曼沙拉之友
15.Gerakan Anak Sarawak (GASAK) 砂拉越之子
16.Green Friends Sabah 沙巴绿色之友
17.Group of Concerned Citizens 公民关注组织
18.Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL) 拓展他种生活协会
19.Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) 回教复兴前线组织
20.Japan Graduates Association, Malaysia (JAGAM) 马来西亚留日同学会
21.Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) 全马原住民网络
22.Jaringan Tanah Hak Adat Bangsa Asal Sarawak (TAHABAS) 砂拉越原住民习俗地阵线
23.Jawatankuasa Bertindak Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator吉隆坡不要垃圾焚化炉行动委员会
24.JIHAD for JUSTICE正义之圣战
25.Johor persahabatan Semparuthi 柔佛州大红花之友
26.Kill The Bill创意集会小组
27.Komiti Belia Perlaksana Child of Jesus, Sabah沙巴州耶稣之子社区青年
28.Komiti Belia Perlaksana Minintod, Sabah沙巴州米寧杜社区青年
29.Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI) 独立学生份子组织
30.Land, Empowerment, Animal, People (LEAP), Sabah 动物与人类土地权益组织
31.LLG Cultural Development Centre 林连玉基金
32.Lingkarn Islam Traditional (LIT)传统伊斯兰教圈
33.Maljis Perundingan Malaysian Agama Buddha, Kristian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao (MCC BCHST) 马来西亚五大宗教理事会
34.Malaysia Christian Youth Association (MCYA)马来西亚基督教青年协会
35.Malaysia Trade Union Congress (MTUC), Sabah Division马来西亚职工会,沙巴州分会
36.Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS) 马来西亚印裔进步组织
37.Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA) 马来西亚印裔转型行动组织
38.Malaysian Students for Liverty捍卫自由马来西亚学生团
39.Malaysian Youth Care Association (PRIHATIN) 马来西亚青年关怀协会
40.Monitoring Sustainable Globalisation (MSN) 监督可持续全球化
41.National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT) 全国印裔权益行动组织
42.Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH) 森美兰中华大会堂
43.Northern Green Youths, Sarawak砂拉越北马绿色青年
44.Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI) 东方思想研究中心
45.Sabah Partners in Community Organising (Pacos Trust) 沙巴社区伙伴信托组织
46.Peoples Green Coalition, Sarawak 沙巴州人民绿色联盟
47.People Welfare and Rights Organisation (POWER) 人民福利和权利组织
48.Penang Chinese Town Hall (PCTH)槟州华人大会堂
49.Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) 霹雳州妇女于妇女协会
50.Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor雪隆理華同學會
51.Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Univesiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (LiuHua) 马来西亚留华同学会
52.Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER) 雪兰莪社区自强协会
53.Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor Dan Kuala Lumpur (PRIHATIN) 雪隆关怀社区组织
54.Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS) 雪隆社区协会
55.Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (PROHAM) 人权协会促进组织
56.Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT) 马来西亚密切协会
57.Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (PSWS)
58.Projek Dialog (PD) 对话论坛圈
59.Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakt (KOMAS) 社区传播中心
60.Pusat Sumber Adat dan Mediasi Kaum Anak Negeri Sabah (PUSAKA)沙巴习俗和调解资源中心
61.Rise. Of. Sarawak. Efforts (ROSE) 砂拉越崛起力量
62.Sabah Banking Employees’ Union (SBEU) 沙巴州银行职工会
63.Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) 沙巴环保协会
64.Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO) 沙巴妇女行动资源组织
65.Saccess Sarawak 砂拉越通道组织
66.Sahabat Rakyat 人民之友
67.SALT Movement SALT行动
68.Sarawak Dayak Indigenous Association (SADIA)砂拉越达雅克伊班协会
69.Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) 砂拉越妇女于妇女协会
70.SAVE Rivers拯救河流
71.Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) 马来西亚之子组织
72.Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia in Australia 澳洲马来西亚之子组织
73.Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Hokkien Association Youth Section隆雪福建会馆青年团
74.Sembang-Sembang Forum, Sarawak大炮论坛
75.Sisters in Islam (SIS) 回教姐妹
76.Solidarity for Civil Rights in China (SCRC) 中国维权大马后援会
77.Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) 人民之声
78.St. Marcellinus Church, Minintod, Sabah沙巴州米寧杜圣马斯丽教堂
79.St. Theresa Child of Jesus Church, Sabah沙巴州聖德肋撒耶稣之子教堂
80.Tamil Foundation தமிழ் அறவாரியம் (TF)淡米尔基金会
81.Tamilar Action Force (TAF) 淡米拉行动力量
82.Tenaganita Women’s Force妇女力量
83.Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy赵明福民主基金会
84.The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall吉隆坡暨雪兰莪中华大会堂
85.Tim Pelayanan Belia Paroki Penampang, Sabah (TPBP) 沙巴州兵南邦青年服务组织
86.Tindak Malaysia马来西亚行动组织
87.United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM) 马来西亚华校校友会联合会总会
88.We Are Malaysians我们是马来西亚人
89.We Are One Race- Human Race我们只是一种种族-人类
90.Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) 妇女援助中心
91.Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) Penang妇女醒觉中心
92.Women Development Organisation of Malaysia 大马妇女发展机构
93.Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) 维护媒体独立撰稿人联盟