KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 ― The Kelantan state legislative assembly today passed amendments to its Kelantan Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002, which among others will now allow Shariah offenders to be caned publicly.
In a report by New Straits Times Online, deputy mentri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the amendment means that offenders would no longer be caned just in prison.
“However, with the amendment, the sentencing can be carried out in public or prison depending on the court’s decision.
“This is in accordance with the religion, as in Islam the sentencing must be done in public,” Mohd Amar was quoted saying.
The amendments were proposed by state Islamic Development, Dakwah and Information executive councillor (exco) Datuk Nassuruddin Daud and seconded by its Women, Family and Welfare exco Mumtaz Md Nawi.
Mohd Amar said other amendments included accepting video and electronic recordings as evidence in court.
PAS is aiming to enforce the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code II 1993 amended in 2015, its version of hudud, but may not do so until legal barriers are removed at the federal level.
It has sought to amend the Syariah Court Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965 or Act 355, which currently only allows the Shariah courts to mete out punishments limited to RM3,000 fine, five years’ jail and six strokes of caning.
Last year, the deputy mentri besar said the Kelantan government is considering a proposal to use the state’s fields and stadiums for public caning sessions and is awaiting public feedback on the matter.
The PAS government in Kelantan also said it would consider adopting a state lawmaker’s proposal for public caning sessions to be conducted after the Muslim Friday prayers.