FEBRUARY 15 — When former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad said ten years ago that the then Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code (II) Enactment 1993 was null and void because it was unconstitutional as it created offences which were under the federal jurisdiction, besides legislating on other federal criminal law offences, he was aware that his words might upset some people.

But he was just being honest “about the real facts in terms of the Constitution and the law”.

Today, he recalls what he had said then.

Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad said he had already brought up the constitutional clash in Kelantan's state enactments as early as 2014, and said that the Federal Court could have struck down more than 16 of the provisions if more had been challenged. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad said he had already brought up the constitutional clash in Kelantan's state enactments as early as 2014, and said that the Federal Court could have struck down more than 16 of the provisions if more had been challenged. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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Abdul Hamid had then also believed that the constitutional issue would go to the civil court, saying:

“I would like to see what the Federal Court’s decision would be.” (See “Implementation of the Islamic Criminal Law (Hudud, Qisas, Ta’zir) in Malaysia - Prospects and Challenges”, Keynote Address at Seminar on Implementation of Hudud in Malaysia - History and the Future)

On Friday (Feb 9), the whole nation saw and witnessed it.

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Former religious affairs minister Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa has rightly called on PAS to embrace the spirit of the decision by improving the process of crafting Shariah criminal laws more meticulously and should accept advice concerning the powers vested in the state legislative assembly, which every state assemblyman swore to protect and uphold when they were elected by the people.

Meanwhile Umno deputy president and foreign minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has also said that the party would urge the relevant authorities to look into amending the Federal Constitution in order to strengthen the Shariah law if necessary.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) Whip and Kota Baru MP Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan too has been reported to have said that the coalition’s MPs would propose a private member’s Bill to amend the Federal Constitution, aiming to enhance and empower Shariah institutions and laws.

But Abdul Hamid had already suggested what he called “The Way Out” in 2015.

Read it here!

*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.