KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim has warned that countries which have implemented the controversial Islamic penal law of hudud are either failing or have become failed states.
Sheriff said Malaysia must learn from those countries which failed in their hudud implementation, while hudud proponents must consider its impact on plural Malaysia, The Sunday Star reported today.
“Several states have acted far beyond their jurisdiction in a manner which has caused friction with other races and unnecessary tension harmful to national security,” Sheriff was quoted telling a forum yesterday titled “The Malaysia We Want For Our Family and Community”.
“If these contraventions continue, they can cause a lot of damage to the country’s political and social stability.”
Sheriff, a member of an influential group of retired Malay senior civil servants dubbed G25, said Malaysia has enjoyed peace and stability thanks to the rule of law.
Last week, Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin suggested that a panel of local and international experts study PAS’ proposed Islamic penal law for Kelantan.
According to the Islamic cleric, the review is necessary to ensure that the failures in implementing the controversial criminal justice system in Libya, Sudan, Nigeria and Pakistan would not repeat itself in Malaysia.
The outspoken scholar also insisted that many countries have failed in their interpretations of hudud, creating a negative image of the Islamic law.
In a statement last week G25 warned that Malaysia risks losing its identity as a model of religious moderation and multiracialism if PAS is allowed to introduce its brand of Islamic penal laws.
G25 further said the country’s secular constitution would require a fundamental change in order to implement such religious laws, adding that such revision would violate the social pacts that had been agreed upon at the country’s formation.
On March 19, the Kelantan state assembly approved the Shariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment with 31 votes from PAS lawmakers supported by 12 from Umno.
PAS is now seeking to debate two private members’ bills in Parliament to enable Kelantan to enforce hudud ― one will seek approval for the state to legislate punishment for crimes under the Penal Code.