Syariah Criminal Code Enactment in Kelantan


On the matter of the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment in Kelantan

KEADILAN has been following closely developments in Kelantan by PAS to amend the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment. We note that the bill was passed in the Kelantan State Assembly a few hours ago.

The move by PAS Kelantan to amend the said Enactment started a year ago, and KEADILAN has consistently engaged the PAS leadership, the Kelantan government and the DAP leadership with the view to find an amicable resolution to this difficult issue.

On 17th March 2015, KEADILAN’s Political Bureau met and discussed in detail the matter and thereafter resolved and adopted the following positions.

Pakatan Rakyat Consensus

KEADILAN respects and is bound by the joint agreement on the matter of hudud by Pakatan Rakyat in 2011, which is as follows:
1.      That the implementation of hudud is not part of Pakatan Rakyat’s common agenda;
2.      That the parties of Pakatan Rakyat, jointly respects PAS’s position on the implementation of hudud as one of PAS’s core political struggle and recognise that the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993 was tabled before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat. As such, it is unreasonable for Pakatan Rakyat to expect PAS to drop the implementation of hudud from its political agenda; and
3.      That any common policy from Pakatan Rakyat must first obtain the collective agreement of all three parties. In the matter of hudud and in view of the existence of the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993 before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat, there is no such collective agreement to implement hudud and as such the parties have come to an understanding “to agree to disagree”.

On 8th February 2015, in the Pakatan Rakyat Council meeting, the Kelantan government’s representative, Datuk Nik Amar, assured all in attendance that Kelantan will only propose 4 minor amendments to the original Enactment passed in 1993.

KEADILAN then accepted the assurance and noted that these amendments were not new laws but minor changes to the existing Enactment. Therefore, at the time, KEADILAN was of the view that Datuk Nik Amar’s explanation was still within the confines of the joint agreement and consensus of Pakatan Rakyat reached in 2011.

KEADILAN was not given the so called draft amendments until 12th March 2015 (a week before tabling of the bill in the State Assembly). The document was in fact a voluminous draft Enactment and not mere amendments as described earlier by Datuk Nik Amar. Even though the content of the document is not very different from the 1993 Enactment, this voluminous presentation represents a clear departure from the 2011 Pakatan Rakyat agreement.

KEADILAN also regrets that this action by PAS Kelantan is also contrary to the spirit of consensus of the Pakatan Rakyat Council meeting on 8th February 2015.

Even though KEADILAN respects the rights of the PAS Kelantan government to table this Enactment, the PAS Kelantan government have a greater duty to adhere to all the previous agreements reached by Pakatan Rakyat on the matter.

Fiqh Alawiyyat, Maslahat Ummah and Maqassid Syariah
KEADILAN is of the view that every Muslim is obligated to accept hudud because the Al-Quran and Sunnah Rasulullah SAW has prescribed specific punishments for six wrongful acts. These wrongful acts are sariqa (theft), hiraba (armed robbery), zina (extra-marital sex), qazaf (false accusation), khamr (drinking alcohol), and ridda (apostate).

At the same time, KEADILAN also believes that Malaysians can differentiate the difference between accepting hudud as an act of faith, from the act of implementing hudud in society as an administrative and political act.
KEADILAN believes that while every Muslim is obligated to accept hudud, the manner in which it is to be implemented and legislated must be discussed and deliberated in the context of our current legal system and social norms.

KEADILAN also notes that the current discourse on hudud is not new. In fact, the issues surrounding the implementation of hudud has been explored and debated for hundreds of years by Islamic scholars and intellectuals. KEADILAN wishes to stress that our disagreement on the issues and mechanisms of implementing hudud should not be misinterpreted as a move of outright rejection of hudud.

KEADILAN takes the position that the sharia encompases all aspects of life and society. Apart from hudud and the six offences, the Sharia also covers issues of governance, diplomacy, economic management, and relations with non muslims, entities and bodies. Therefore, hudud is only one part of the sharia goals of Islam.

KEADILAN believes in prioritising the sharia goals of Islam. KEADILAN believes in the principles of fiqh alawiyyat (priority to most important principles), that is in matters of governance, priorities must be given to policies that directly benefit society. In this context, KEADILAN views social justice and the implementation of measures to better the people’s welfare as much greater and higher priorities than the implementation of hudud on the six offences.

This does not mean that KEADILAN rejects what has been set by Allah SWT on the six offences. On the contrary, KEADILAN believes that the struggle to correct injustice and to look after the welfare of the people is much more important than hudud. The needs of the people for social justice and welfare are even greater now, in light of the recent tragic flood and widespread corruption and abuse of power by the ruling elites.

This position is similarly held by many moderate Islamic movements in the world, including the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey led by President Tayyip Erdogan and the Nahdah Party in Tunisia led by the famous Muslim scholar, Sheikh Rachid al-Ghannouchi. Moreover, we note that the current PAS President, Dato Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, himself had previously agreed that the implementation of hudud is a lesser priority to the betterment of welfare of the people.

KEADILAN believes in engaging the people’s understanding of Islamic laws based on the moderate and progressive concept of maqassid syariah. KEADILAN will continue to adhere and be guided by maqassid syariah in crafting policies that involve Islam.

Based on all the above considerations, KEADILAN therefore rejects the tabling of the hudud enactment in the Kelantan State Assembly today. KEADILAN has also instructed its sole state legislator in the Kelantan State Assembly, not to participate in the debate.

UMNO’s hidden agenda
KEADILAN urge all Malaysians not to be misled by UMNO’s trickery on the matter of the implementation of hudud. UMNO’s aim is to cause dissension and disunity in the rank and file of its opponents.

UMNO will have no qualms to twist our words and differences and make us look like we are against the laws of Allah SWT. At the same, UMNO will try to create an image of themselves as the champions of Sharia laws. 

If UMNO is truly sincere and ready to implement hudud, surely its Trengganu state government would have completed the process with the support of the federal government. The refusal of UMNO to push further its hudud plans in Trengganu is proof that UMNO is only interested to politicise the hudud issue in Kelantan.

KEADILAN urges all Malaysians to stay united and refocus our efforts to change the federal government so that the best interests of all will be protected.

YB Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

YAB Azmin Ali
Deputy President

YB Nurul Izzah Anwar
Vice President

YB Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin
Vice President

YB Rafizi Ramli
Secretary General and Vice President

YB Zuraida Kamaruddin
Head of Women’s Wing

YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad
Head of Youth Wing