I view with grave caution the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill in the Dewan Rakyat pertaining to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 (“Hudud Bill”).
The MIC is of the view that the proposed bill is inconsistent with the provisions of the Federal Constitution which protects the rights of all Malaysians for equal treatment before the law and against the duality of sentencing as preserved by Articles 7(2) and 8(1) of the Federal Constitution.
The Hudud Bill as proposed by Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang seeks to amend Section 2 of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to state that the Syariah Courts will have jurisdiction over Muslims, and in the case of offences on matters listed in Item 1 of the State List under the ninth schedule of Federal Laws.
It also includes Section 2A, which states that in the conduct of criminal law under Section 2A, the Syariah Courts have the right to impose penalties allowed by Syariah laws related to offences listed in the said section.
The MIC vehemently opposes the passing of this bill as it is of the view that the proposed bill will result in a parallel criminal justice system where Muslims and non-Muslims are subjected to unequal treatment before the law.
The cornerstone of our Federal Constitution was never constructed for a dual criminal justice system. Further, there should not be any room for replication of the offences within any Federal law with a separate degree of punishment only for Muslims.
The MIC therefore calls upon PAS to consider the interests of all Malaysians both Muslim and non-Muslim and to act in accordance to the principles enshrined in our Federal Constitution by withdrawing its motion to table the proposed bill.