Malay Mail Online
Penang, July 13 – The Kelantan state legislative assembly yesterday passed amendments to its state Shariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 that would allow Shariah offenders to be caned publicly.
Leaders of both sides of the political divide opined that although the law is only applicable to Muslims, public caning is inappropriate and is regressive.
MCA Penang state liaison committee chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said it would have a tremendous impact and shock on the political situation in the country if public caning is being enforced.
Tan Teik Cheng: Tremendous impact on politics
In an interview with the Guang Ming Daily News today, he said this was the consequence of the strengthening of PAS in the past two years. Earlier, DAP had propagated “If you do not steal nor rob, you don’t have to be afraid of Shariah criminal law” and also sang the song “The Moon Represents My Heart”. Thus, DAP must bear the greatest responsibility for it.
He said MCA’s stand was clear, as it had all along opposing strongly to the Shariah criminal law.
Gerakan national secretary-general Liang Teck Meng said it is not appropriate to proceed with a public whipping before carry out a detailed study and discussion.
“According to the act, flogging must be done in prison or in a private place, it is not known that whether public caning will be contravening the existing law, therefore technical discussion is required to find a solution on the issue,” he added.
He said the Shariah criminal law is the point of disagreement between non-Muslims and Muslims; non-Muslims would never understand the considerations of the Muslims, while Muslims would also not consider the thinking of non-Muslims in implementing the Shariah law.
Tan Kok Wai: Rocket is against it
Acting chairman of DAP Tan Kok Wai said DAP stood against the Shariah criminal law presented by PAS. Although there is also whipping in the civil criminal law, DAP stood against the public caning under the Shariah law.
“PAS did so entirely because of the indulgence allowed by Barisan Nasional government and Umno, without their cooperation, the Hadi’s private member’s Bill would not be resurfaced, don’t forget who is at the helm of central government,” he said.
DAP women’s wing chief Chong Eng said this is a civilized society, when a person did something wrong he should be punished rather than humiliated, the public caning if implemented, would be a reversal of civilization.
“When a person committed an offence, he should be punished, so that the criminal can have enlightenment and repentance, presently even the schools have also stopped the public caning, besides, there’s whipping under the existing civil criminal law, there is no need to have another set of law,” she added.
PKR treasurer-general Datin Paduka Tan Yee Kew said the party had yet to discuss on the matter, but she personally felt that public flogging was an unacceptable punishment in the present civilized society.
She disagrees with public caning of offences like adultery and liquor consumption, because such punishment is not suitable for our national condition. In the current open society, adultery and liquor consumption are not serious offences, the criterion has been more relaxed.
“Although from the religious point of view they are not allowed, in civil law such penalty should also not be applied,” she said.
She reiterated that even though the public caning is only applicable to the Muslims, from the view point of non-Muslims they also feel uncomfortable, as this is against the existing social culture in our country.