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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2002   :  MY Judicial Jul 2002

-- THE ARCHIVE --


MALAYSIA

Judicial CP - July 2002



masthead Straits Times, Singapore, 9 July 2002

Amendments made to Bill

KUALA TERENGGANU - Several changes were made to the controversial hudud law which was passed in the Terengganu state assembly in response to criticisms by women's groups who felt the proposed law discriminated against women.

The major amendments were found in the sections on zina (illicit sex) and qazaf (accusation of zina without proof in the form of four male Muslim witnesses of good character).

Under qazaf which carries a punishment of 90 lashes, a woman who cries rape without having such proof would be found guilty. The women's groups had protested that it was impossible for a woman to bring such evidence.

Under the amended section, complaints of rape where there is circumstantial evidence (qarinah), must be investigated. If there is evidence of rape but insufficient for a hudud punishment, the man will be punished under takzir (punishment at the judge's discretion). The woman will not be guilty of qazaf.

As for zina or illicit sex, a new section has been added to list out eight circumstances under which hudud punishment cannot be imposed. The old section had sparked protest because pregnancy in an unmarried woman was deemed as proof of zina, even if she was raped and had no witnesses. Now, a woman is not guilty of zina if she was forced, or tricked by black magic or drugged.

Zina is punishable with death by stoning for married men or women. For unmarried offenders, the punishment is 100 lashes and a year's jail. --New Straits Times

Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.



masthead Straits Times, Singapore, 11 July 2002

Police deal blow to PAS hudud laws

Terengganu police chief says his men can only enforce federal laws as Acts of Parliament take precedence

KUALA TERENGGANU - The Terengganu government may have been dealt a major blow with the announcement by the police chief in the state run by the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) that his men will not enforce proposed hudud laws.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Othman Talib, who issued a directive to all district police chiefs (OCPDs) on the matter yesterday, said his decision was in line with the Federal Constitution.

'I have told all OCPDs that we are prohibited by existing laws from rendering assistance in whatever form to enforce the hudud, qisas and takzir laws,' he said.

'We have issued guidelines on what we should and should not do.'

He said he was also preparing a report on hudud and qisas for submission to the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters.

On Monday, the Terengganu State Assembly passed the Syariah Criminal Offences (Hudud and Qisas) Bill which covers offences such as theft, robbery, adultery, drinking liquor, apostasy and the accusation of rape without adequate proof.

The controversial piece of legislation carries punishments such as stoning to death for adultery, amputations for theft, death for robbery, and 40 to 80 lashes of the whip for drinking alcohol.

Mr Othman said that as the police chief 'entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing criminal laws and the like, there arises a conflict in terms of my jurisdiction'.

'I will only implement and enforce federal laws - that is, the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Evidence Act and the like,' he added.

Police would not provide lock-up facilities and will not escort suspects.

He also instructed officers to refrain from helping to arrest, detain, serve warrants of arrest and keep case exhibits, work which they normally do as provided for under the Criminal Procedure Code.

He said that although Terengganu now has two sets of laws on criminal offences - one introduced by the PAS state government and the other through federal legislation - the Federal Constitution stipulates that Acts of Parliament take precedence.

On Tuesday, a PAS state executive councillor said the Terengganu government would not be able to enforce hudud laws until several 'technical problems' have been resolved.

State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Housing and Environment Wan Abdul Muttalib Embong said the government still had to appoint judges and provide for translators and court officers.

Conflicting reports had arisen earlier as to whether the hudud laws would affect non-Muslims in the state.

Wan Abdul Muttalib has since clarified that the laws would not be extended to them.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Chief Minister Abdul Hadi Awang said his government is also considering amending the Constitution so as to appoint a non-Muslim Chinese as a people's representative.

He also proposed the appointment of two women as people's representatives. --Bernama, Sin ChewDaily/Asia News Network

Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.



blob Follow-up: 18 September 2002 - Terengganu hudud laws expected to be gazetted by Dec 31




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