KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Pasir Puteh MP Datuk Dr Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad has been chastised for suggesting in Parliament yesterday that caning be used as a punishment to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
The PAS MP’s critics were quoted in The Star as saying that the suggestion illustrates the Islamist party’s fixation with sanctions, and its lack of compassion.
The Islamist party’s president is also currently pushing to increase Shariah punishments by up to ten times the current limits.
“They are obsessed with punishment instead of ways to improve the welfare of Musli They think punishing Muslims will solve the world’s problems,” Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin of former civil servants group G25 was quoted saying.
Lawyer Siti Kasim also said that the Islamist party should have considered a kinder way to instill moral values instead of focusing just on punishment.
She added that focussing solely on penalising offenders would encourage views that Islam was not a compassionate faith.
“You think that just by whacking, people will change? No, it will never change their behaviour. It should be about educating people.”
Yesterday, Dr Nik Mazian said caning should be implemented to protect “innocent babies” born from unlawful unions, after realising that caning for illicit sex is not included in the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, that PAS aims to amend.
“Does this mean that it is time for caning to be included under the proposed amendments to RUU355?” he was quoted saying, using the Malay acronym for the Bill to amend Act 355.
Deputy Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun replied that she was in no position to respond to the suggestion.
It is unsure what prompted the PAS MP’s question, as Act 355 only prescribes the maximum limits of the punishments that Shariah courts can mete out.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has submitted a private member’s Bill to increase the current punishment caps to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine, and 100 strokes of the cane.
Earlier this week, PAS MP Nasrudin Hassan said sex education will not prevent illicit sex even if it helps reduce illegitimate births.