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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Terkini: 14 Cedera Warong Kopi Pak Mat Dihempap Pokok

Dahan runtuh timpa warong kopi Pak Mat di Kapong Tapah. 

Dilaporkan 14 orang tercedera, sebahagian sedang dirawat di hospital Selama.

Mohon bantuan dan sumbangan segera .


Pihak Sahabat PAS Dun Selama (SPDS) turut membantu Pertubuhan Kebajikan Khairat Assyabab untuk mengutip derma dan membina semula warong tersebut.









Mohon sumbangan segera ke akaun maybank 558211313335 atas nama Khairat Assyabab.
Mohon sms 01126528893 maklum jumlah. - FB

.........................
SELAMA - Dua parah manakala 12 yang lain cedera apabila sebatang pokok tumbang sebelum menghempap sebuah kedai makan di Kampung Tapah Sungai Bayor, pagi tadi.

Dalam kejadian kira-kira jam 7.30 pagi itu, semua mangsa dikatakan sedang bersarapan di kedai berkenaan.

Ketua Balai Bomba dan Penyelamat Selama, Mohd Fadzlie Che Husin berkata, kebanyakan mangsa berjaya dikeluarkan penduduk kampung.

"Hanya dua mangsa yang tersepit, namun berjaya dikeluarkan, semua mangsa kini dirawat di Hospital Selama," katanya.

Dua yang parah mengalami cedera di kepala dan muka sementara yang lain hanya luka dan calar di badan.

Kerja pembersihan di lokasi kejadian selesai kira-kira jam 8.45 pagi tadi.

Difahamkan semua mangsa sedang menjalani rawatan lanjut termasuk ujian sinar X dan akan dimasukkan ke Hospital Taiping sekiranya perlu.- SH

Bank-rejected firm got RM150 million from Putrajaya, not RM100 million, says PKR

PKR today revealed that NSE Resources Corporation (NSERC) Sdn Bhd received an additional grant of RM50 million from Putrajaya, besides an earlier cash injection of RM100 million.
Party strategy director Rafizi Ramli said the RM50 million grant was awarded to NSERC by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water.
"This shows that a private company like NSERC managed to obtain two separate grants from different ministries to carry out its commercial activities," he said today.
"In fact, the company in its application letter said that its costs were RM130 million, but the RM150 million surpasses that figure," Rafizi (pic, top left) added.
Rafizi yesterday questioned how Putrajaya awarded a RM100 million research and development grant to the company, which banks had refused to finance.
MORE TO COME

Custodial death: Open inquest demanded


The family of factory worker Kamarulnizam Ismail, who died while being held at the Tapah Prison last month, wants an inquest in open court to determine the cause of his death.

Suaram (Penang branch) spokesperson Ong Jing Cheng (right) said the family, supported by several NGOs and political parties, has handed over a five-point memorandum to state police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi on the incident that occurred on March 8.

Other than a request to convene an open inquest, Ong said, the memorandum demands that the police provide real answers as to the cause of Kamarulnizam's death.

"We are disappointed that no concrete action has been taken to explain the case. We hope such incidents will not happen again," he told a press conference in front of the state police headquarters on Jalan Penang yesterday.

Accompanying Ong were Kamarulnizam's brother Kamaruzzaman and their father, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim and assemblypersons Dr Afif Bahardin (Seberang Jaya) and Lee Khai Loon (Machang Bubok).

Others present were Amnesty International lawyer Clement Ong, Bersih Northern Region coordinator Toh Kin Woon, PSM representative Choo Chon Kai and PKR members Peter Lim and Mohd Hafizan Marzhuki.

Kamarulnizam, 39 (left), who worked in a sugar factory, was detained in the Seberang Perai Tengah (Bandar Perda) police station lock-up on March 3 before being sent to the Tapah prison on March 6.

According to Kamaruzzaman, bruises were seen on the right cheek and under the left arm of Kamarulnizam’s body. However, the prison authorities claimed he died from chest infection.

In the memorandum, the groups told Rahim to ensure an immediate investigation into the officers on duty whenever there is a custodial death, in order to determine how the detainee died.

The lock-up officer, the the memorandum pointed out, should be held responsible for the health and condition of detainees.

The group wants such investigations to be carried out by the police headquarters, so as to ensure transparency and to prevent bias.

"Set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission as the current Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission has  no power to investigate or charge police for any wrongdoing," the memorandum added.

"Stop all kinds of torture and abuse in the lock-up to avoid custodial deaths.”
 

‘Investigating officer told to free Dharmendran’


A Kuala Lumpur police contingent Serious Crimes Division (D9) staff officer told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that he had ordered an investigating officer (IO) to free the suspect known as N Dharmendran earlier during the same day he died.  

Supt Yahya Abd Rahman said he had instructed ASP Mohamed Sazif Mohamed Subri of the Cheras police headquarters to free the suspect after obtaining his blood sample, and had rushed off to Putrajaya for another high profile case. 

He told Judge Kamardin Hashim that Dharmendran had been arrested with three other men on May 11 last year and held in the Kuala Lumpur lock-up where Insp Hare Krishnan was on duty as the ‘project officer’ to interrogate him.

During examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) and Kuala Lumpur Prosecution Unit Head, Suhaimi Ibrahim, Supt Yahya said Insp Hare had called him about 4.25pm on May 21 and informed him that Dharmendran had collapsed in the lock-up.

Supt Yahya added that he ordered the lock-up’s officer in charge to call an ambulance and rush him to hospital.  

Supt Yahya was testifying in the trial of police officer Hare, 40, who is facing a joint murder charge with Sgt Jaffri Jaafar, 44, Cpl Mohd Nahar Abd Rahman, 45 and Cpl Haswadi Zamri Shaari, 32.

They allegedly committed the offence at the Serious Crimes Division (D9) interrogation room, Level 7, Kuala Lumpur police headquarters Jalan Hang Tuah, between 12.20pm and 2.50pm on May 21.  

Supt Yahya said when he contacted the officer again about 6pm, he was told Dharmendran had died.     

On another question by DPP Suhaimi as to why Dharmendran, 31, had been detained, the witness said it was for an attempted murder of two people with a firearm in Cheras. 

Wife: He was fine when I visited him    

Earlier in the proceedings, Dharmendran’s wife, Marry Mariay Susay, 26, told the court that her husband did have asthma but was fine when she visited him at the lock-up 10 days prior to his death.   

During re-examination by DPP Jean Sharmila Jesudason, Marry said she was initially not allowed to enter the Kuala Lumpur Hospital morgue and had to get police permission to do so.

Marry added that family members and several policemen were present when Dr Siew Sheue Feng stated that Dharmendran's post-mortem revealed that he had died of various injuries caused by blunt objects.

Marry also denied that the contents of both her police reports at the Dang Wangi station were as instructed by a lawyer named ‘Sivamalar’ for the purposes of a civil suit, when re-examined by Cpl Mohd Nahar’s lawyer Baljit Singh.

Today at 10 am, all parties, including Judge Kamardin, are scheduled to visit the lock-up where Dharmendran had been held, before Supt Yahya continues his testimony.  

Bernama

PKR denies holding prayers for 'martyr' Karpal


PKR has denied that it will hold a ‘thankgiving’ ceremony as well as prayers for ‘martyred’ DAP lawmaker Karpal Singh at PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s home tomorrow.

This followed two widely circulated e-posters promoting the event online, bearing the logo of Anwar’s fan club, the Anwar Ibrahim Club (AIC).

“Example of Umno lies,” Anwar tweeted when asked about the event said to be prayers for “syuhadah (martyr) Karpal”.

The poster features Anwar raising his hand in prayer behind Karpal’s image, and advertises the event ‘Majlis tahlil syuhadah Karpal’ (prayers for martyr Karpal) at Anwar’s Bukit Segambut home tomorrow night.

An exact copy of the poster was also circulated yesterday, except the caption reads: ‘Majlis kesyukuran mendiang Karpal’(Thanksgiving ceremony for the late Karpal).

“We deny this libelous poster said to be from AIC... Thursday’s event is only to pray for safety and Allah’s protection for Anwar and his family,” the AIC Facebook page reads.

Karpal, who would have turned 74 on June 28, was killed in a road accident last week.

The Bukit Gelugor MP was also Anwar’s lead counsel in the Sodomy II case, which is pending final appeal at the Federal Court.

PAS'S MOVE ON HUDUD IS ILL-CONCEIVED BY CHANDRA MUZAFFAR

Photo: WHY PAS's MOVE ON HUDUD IS CONSIDERED  ILL-CONCEIVED.

by

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

Read here: http://tinyurl.com/kcknmv2

From media reports, it appears that the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) is determined to table a Private Member’s Bill in the June session of the Dewan Rakyat that will seek to facilitate the implementation of hudud --- the Islamic penal code --- in Kelantan. 

The implementation will be based upon the Hudud Bill adopted unanimously by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly in November 1993.

I shall attempt to appraise the wisdom of doing this from THREE closely inter-related perspectives:

a) The  CONCEPT of hudud in general AND  as enunciated in the (Kelantan)Bill; 

b) The  PRACTICE  of hudud in OTHER  countries; and

c) The LOCAL CONTEXT   in which hudud would be implemented.

A.  THE CONCEPT  .

The Kelantan Hudud Bill has been subjected to a comprehensive analysis in Muhammad Hashim Kamali’s " PUNISHMENT IN ISLAMIC LAW: AN INQUIRY INTO THE HUDUD BILL OF KELANTAN" (Kuala Lumpur: Institut Kajian Dasar, 1995).

["Punishment in Islamic Law: An Inquiry into the Hudud Bill of Kelantan" 
By Mohammad Hashim Kamali.Kuala Lumpur: Institut Kajian Dasar, 1995. pp. xvii + 178 ISBN: 983-884-038-6]

 Kamali, one of the world’s leading Islamic jurists, reveals in detail the weaknesses of the Bill, including those pertaining to its categorisation of hudud offences and how it contradicts the Quranic prescription on punishments and why it conflicts with the Malaysian Constitution and the Penal Code.

ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, FROM GOVERNMENT AND THE OPPOSTION, MUSLIMS AND NON-MUSLIMS, SHOULD DIGEST THE CONTENTS OF THE BOOK BEFORE DEBATING THE PASS SPONSORED BILL. 

They will realise that the PAS approach is FOCUSSED ESSENTIALLY upon modes of punishment and NOT upon the fundamental principle of justice which is the overriding concern of the Quran. 

When justice is one’s leitmotif one would first strive to ensure that the social ethos and the power structure conduce towards equity and fairness rather than preoccupy oneself with detailed descriptions of how different forms of punishment would be meted out.

 Besides, the concept of hudud --- or boundaries --- IN THE QURAN HAS A MUCH WIDER AND DEEPER MEANING  and is not confined to its penal aspects.

 It is also employed in relation to fasting, family laws and inheritance and indeed embodies all of God’s teachings and guidelines. 

By over-emphasising punishment, PAS has also SIDE-LINED  provisions on repentance and reformation which are crucial to all those instances in the Quran where punitive measures are mentioned in the context of specific offences.

B. THE PRACTICE  

It is not just the failure to appreciate the spirit of compassion and justice that accompanies legal provisions in the Quran that renders THE PAS MOVE TO INTRODUCE HUDUD PROBLEMATIC.. 

The party and others who subscribe to a similar view have NOT  examined the realities surrounding the implementation of hudud. 

Most Muslim majority states do NOT  provide for hudud. 

1. The most populous Muslim nation on earth, INDONESIA, has not incorporated such a provision into its legal system though one of its smaller provinces, Acheh, has introduced elements of the Islamic penal code while retaining civil law in other areas. 

The change is drawing more and more criticism from WITHIN  Achenese society itself. 

2. TURKEY, one of the more prominent Muslim states today, with a leadership rooted in an Islamic movement, has stayed away from hudud laws.

3.  Arab states such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, among others, have not included hudud in their criminal justice systems. In some instances, their constitutions proclaim a general commitment to Sharia as “a way of life.”

4. Those countries which have sought to enforce hudud such as Afghanistan, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Sudan do NOT t seem to have succeeded in reducing the very crimes that the law is meant for.

 In some of them, murder and robbery are still as rife as ever. Even if street-level theft has been kept in check in one or two cases, there is ample evidence of massive looting of the nation’s wealth by the elite for the elite.

 And yet the hands of these thieves are NOT cut off! It merely reinforces the point that it is NOT the mode of punishment that ensures justice BUT THE ABILITY OF SOCIETY TO HOLD THE POWERFUL ACCOUNTABLE.  

5. If accountability and justice are still lacking in hudud-based societies, their parlous situation is further exacerbated by the plight of women and non-Muslims.

IN ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THE STATES THAT HAS EMBRACED HUDUD LAWS, WOMEN HAVE BEEN MARGINALISED BOTH IN THEIR PRIVATE SPHERE AND IN THE PUBLIC ARENA.

 In those countries where there is a NON-MUSLIM MINORITY, their space for expression and action often shrinks, in the wake of hudud enforcement.

C.  THE LOCAL CONTEXT. 

This brings us to the situation IN MALAYSIA. 

Since it is Kelantan that wants to implement hudud, it is pertinent to ask: HOW would the punishments prescribed in the hudud laws help to reduce various crimes in the state (Kelantan) ?

 In Kelantan, as in other states in Malaysia, a number of robberies and murders appear to be related to DRUG ABUSE. UNLESS  this underlying cause is eliminated, it is unlikely that the crime rate will be reduced even if the modes of punishment are brought in line with hudud rules.

There is also another problem that Kelantan will have to address. 

Though its NON -Muslim population is small, at about 5 percent, the state’s Buddhists, Hindus and Christians have the right to continue to be charged under the existing law which means that the state will have two sets of criminal legislation.

 As argued by some others, a Muslim and a non-Muslim charged for the SAME  crime will have to be tried under TWO DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS  and meted out two different sentences. 

One could be more severe than the other. 
--Would that be just?
-- Would that be morally right?

EQUALLY SERIOUS, WHAT WOULD BE THE IMPACT OF THIS BIZARRE ARRANGEMENT UPON RELATIONS BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND PEOPLE OF OTHER FATHS?

 Wouldn’t it lead to GREATER POLARIZATION at a time when we are already struggling with increasing communal polarization?

D. CONCLUSION

In the ultimate analysis, the PAS bid to implement hudud in Kelantan is NOT  just about its understanding of hudud.

IT IS SADLY ABOUT HOW THE VAST MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS IN THIS COUNTRY UNDERSTAND HUDUD. IT IS AN UNDERSTANDING SHAPED LARGELY BY THE INTERPRETATION OF THE ULAMA  --- an interpretation that is literal and static.

This is why modes of punishment including those that have no basis in the Quran are perceived as sacrosanct. 

MALAYSIAN MUSLIMS FORGET  that it is the underlying moral principle of right and wrong that is fundamental --- a principle which regards murder and robbery and adultery as eternally wrong.

 In order to do justice to the victims of these and other wrongdoings, every religion and every epoch has formulated modes of punishment which are often SHAPED BY THE PREVAILING SOCIAL MILIEAU.

If one fails to distinguish the contextual from the eternal, the ephemeral from the perennial, the universal message of religion will be lost.

 Great Muslim thinkers have cautioned Muslims about this through the ages. 

1. SHAH WALIULLAH 

The illustrious eighteenth century theologian Shah Waliullah (1703-1762) for instance emphasised that “every age must seek its own interpretation of the Quran and the traditions.”

 He believed that, “ONE OF THE MAJOR CAUSES OF MUSLIM DECAY AS RIGID CONFORMITY TO INTERPRETATIONS MADE IN OTHER AGES."  

2. MUHAMMAD IQBAL

Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), the distinguished twentieth century poet-philosopher, was also of the view that in approaching the Sharia, “each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessors, should be permitted to solve its own problems in accordance with the level of its consciousness and the demands of the time.” 

3. ALI SHARIATI

Another reformer of repute, Ali Shariati (1933-1977), was equally critical of “traditional, formalistic Islam” and sought to liberate the religion from the grip of those ulama “who had imprisoned Islam by monopolising it.”

4. SYED HUSSEIN ALATAS 

Here in Malaysia, Syed Hussein Alatas (1928-2007) had for many decades, through works such as Kita dengan Islam argued eloquently for an understanding of Islam that goes beyond the literal and connects with the essence of the faith.

 In an essay entitled, Al-Quran: Nilai dan Peraturan in Dewan Budaya (February and March 1980), I has also explored further the distinction between contextual rules and the eternal message. It explains why when PAS began pushing for hudud soon after it came to power in Kelantan for a second time in 1990, I raised the question, Hudud: Central to Islam? in a 1992 article which became a chapter in my Rights, Religion and Reform ( London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002)

Now that the issue of hudud has re-surfaced with even more serious implications for the nation as a whole,WE SHOULD REMIND OURSELVES OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT FACES US.  

 In Kamali’s words, nineteen years ago" 

“We either choose to retain the eternal message of Islam, uphold its civilizational ideals, and invest our energy in the task of reconstructing a society in that image OR  lower our sights only to see the concrete rules and specific details.

" This latter alternative … attaches higher priority to details and make them the focus of attention at the expense of the broader and more important objectives of Islam. 

"Islam’s commitment to moral virtue, to justice, to equality and freedom … and to the promotion of humanitarian and compassionate values are of universal and perpetual significance.

" Failing to understand these will inevitably lead to the misapprehension and misinterpretation of Islam and its criminal justice.”(Muhammad Hashim Kamali)

- DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

Read here: http://tinyurl.com/kcknmv2

From media reports, it appears that the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) is determined to table a Private Member’s Bill in the June session of the Dewan Rakyat that will seek to facilitate the implementation of hudud --- the Islamic penal code --- in Kelantan.

The implementation will be based upon the Hudud Bill adopted unanimously by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly in November 1993.

I shall attempt to appraise the wisdom of doing this from THREE closely inter-related perspectives:

a) The CONCEPT of hudud in general AND as enunciated in the (Kelantan)Bill;

b) The PRACTICE of hudud in OTHER countries; and

c) The LOCAL CONTEXT in which hudud would be implemented.

A. THE CONCEPT .

The Kelantan Hudud Bill has been subjected to a comprehensive analysis in Muhammad Hashim Kamali’s " PUNISHMENT IN ISLAMIC LAW: AN INQUIRY INTO THE HUDUD BILL OF KELANTAN" (Kuala Lumpur: Institut Kajian Dasar, 1995).

["Punishment in Islamic Law: An Inquiry into the Hudud Bill of Kelantan"
By Mohammad Hashim Kamali.Kuala Lumpur: Institut Kajian Dasar, 1995. pp. xvii + 178 ISBN: 983-884-038-6]

Kamali, one of the world’s leading Islamic jurists, reveals in detail the weaknesses of the Bill, including those pertaining to its categorisation of hudud offences and how it contradicts the Quranic prescription on punishments and why it conflicts with the Malaysian Constitution and the Penal Code.

ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, FROM GOVERNMENT AND THE OPPOSTION, MUSLIMS AND NON-MUSLIMS, SHOULD DIGEST THE CONTENTS OF THE BOOK BEFORE DEBATING THE PASS SPONSORED BILL.

They will realise that the PAS approach is FOCUSSED ESSENTIALLY upon modes of punishment and NOT upon the fundamental principle of justice which is the overriding concern of the Quran.

When justice is one’s leitmotif one would first strive to ensure that the social ethos and the power structure conduce towards equity and fairness rather than preoccupy oneself with detailed descriptions of how different forms of punishment would be meted out.

Besides, the concept of hudud --- or boundaries --- IN THE QURAN HAS A MUCH WIDER AND DEEPER MEANING and is not confined to its penal aspects.

It is also employed in relation to fasting, family laws and inheritance and indeed embodies all of God’s teachings and guidelines.

By over-emphasising punishment, PAS has also SIDE-LINED provisions on repentance and reformation which are crucial to all those instances in the Quran where punitive measures are mentioned in the context of specific offences.

B. THE PRACTICE

It is not just the failure to appreciate the spirit of compassion and justice that accompanies legal provisions in the Quran that renders THE PAS MOVE TO INTRODUCE HUDUD PROBLEMATIC..

The party and others who subscribe to a similar view have NOT examined the realities surrounding the implementation of hudud.

Most Muslim majority states do NOT provide for hudud.

1. The most populous Muslim nation on earth, INDONESIA, has not incorporated such a provision into its legal system though one of its smaller provinces, Acheh, has introduced elements of the Islamic penal code while retaining civil law in other areas.

The change is drawing more and more criticism from WITHIN Achenese society itself.

2. TURKEY, one of the more prominent Muslim states today, with a leadership rooted in an Islamic movement, has stayed away from hudud laws.

3. Arab states such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, among others, have not included hudud in their criminal justice systems. In some instances, their constitutions proclaim a general commitment to Sharia as “a way of life.”

4. Those countries which have sought to enforce hudud such as Afghanistan, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Sudan do NOT t seem to have succeeded in reducing the very crimes that the law is meant for.

In some of them, murder and robbery are still as rife as ever. Even if street-level theft has been kept in check in one or two cases, there is ample evidence of massive looting of the nation’s wealth by the elite for the elite.

And yet the hands of these thieves are NOT cut off! It merely reinforces the point that it is NOT the mode of punishment that ensures justice BUT THE ABILITY OF SOCIETY TO HOLD THE POWERFUL ACCOUNTABLE.

5. If accountability and justice are still lacking in hudud-based societies, their parlous situation is further exacerbated by the plight of women and non-Muslims.

IN ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THE STATES THAT HAS EMBRACED HUDUD LAWS, WOMEN HAVE BEEN MARGINALISED BOTH IN THEIR PRIVATE SPHERE AND IN THE PUBLIC ARENA.

In those countries where there is a NON-MUSLIM MINORITY, their space for expression and action often shrinks, in the wake of hudud enforcement.

C. THE LOCAL CONTEXT.

This brings us to the situation IN MALAYSIA.

Since it is Kelantan that wants to implement hudud, it is pertinent to ask: HOW would the punishments prescribed in the hudud laws help to reduce various crimes in the state (Kelantan) ?

In Kelantan, as in other states in Malaysia, a number of robberies and murders appear to be related to DRUG ABUSE. UNLESS this underlying cause is eliminated, it is unlikely that the crime rate will be reduced even if the modes of punishment are brought in line with hudud rules.

There is also another problem that Kelantan will have to address.

Though its NON -Muslim population is small, at about 5 percent, the state’s Buddhists, Hindus and Christians have the right to continue to be charged under the existing law which means that the state will have two sets of criminal legislation.

As argued by some others, a Muslim and a non-Muslim charged for the SAME crime will have to be tried under TWO DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS and meted out two different sentences.

One could be more severe than the other.
--Would that be just?
-- Would that be morally right?

EQUALLY SERIOUS, WHAT WOULD BE THE IMPACT OF THIS BIZARRE ARRANGEMENT UPON RELATIONS BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND PEOPLE OF OTHER FATHS?

Wouldn’t it lead to GREATER POLARIZATION at a time when we are already struggling with increasing communal polarization?

D. CONCLUSION

In the ultimate analysis, the PAS bid to implement hudud in Kelantan is NOT just about its understanding of hudud.

IT IS SADLY ABOUT HOW THE VAST MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS IN THIS COUNTRY UNDERSTAND HUDUD. IT IS AN UNDERSTANDING SHAPED LARGELY BY THE INTERPRETATION OF THE ULAMA --- an interpretation that is literal and static.

This is why modes of punishment including those that have no basis in the Quran are perceived as sacrosanct.

MALAYSIAN MUSLIMS FORGET that it is the underlying moral principle of right and wrong that is fundamental --- a principle which regards murder and robbery and adultery as eternally wrong.

In order to do justice to the victims of these and other wrongdoings, every religion and every epoch has formulated modes of punishment which are often SHAPED BY THE PREVAILING SOCIAL MILIEAU.

If one fails to distinguish the contextual from the eternal, the ephemeral from the perennial, the universal message of religion will be lost.

Great Muslim thinkers have cautioned Muslims about this through the ages.

1. SHAH WALIULLAH

The illustrious eighteenth century theologian Shah Waliullah (1703-1762) for instance emphasised that “every age must seek its own interpretation of the Quran and the traditions.”

He believed that, “ONE OF THE MAJOR CAUSES OF MUSLIM DECAY AS RIGID CONFORMITY TO INTERPRETATIONS MADE IN OTHER AGES."

2. MUHAMMAD IQBAL

Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), the distinguished twentieth century poet-philosopher, was also of the view that in approaching the Sharia, “each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessors, should be permitted to solve its own problems in accordance with the level of its consciousness and the demands of the time.”

3. ALI SHARIATI

Another reformer of repute, Ali Shariati (1933-1977), was equally critical of “traditional, formalistic Islam” and sought to liberate the religion from the grip of those ulama “who had imprisoned Islam by monopolising it.”

4. SYED HUSSEIN ALATAS

Here in Malaysia, Syed Hussein Alatas (1928-2007) had for many decades, through works such as Kita dengan Islam argued eloquently for an understanding of Islam that goes beyond the literal and connects with the essence of the faith.

In an essay entitled, Al-Quran: Nilai dan Peraturan in Dewan Budaya (February and March 1980), I has also explored further the distinction between contextual rules and the eternal message. It explains why when PAS began pushing for hudud soon after it came to power in Kelantan for a second time in 1990, I raised the question, Hudud: Central to Islam? in a 1992 article which became a chapter in my Rights, Religion and Reform ( London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002)

Now that the issue of hudud has re-surfaced with even more serious implications for the nation as a whole,WE SHOULD REMIND OURSELVES OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT FACES US.

In Kamali’s words, nineteen years ago"

“We either choose to retain the eternal message of Islam, uphold its civilizational ideals, and invest our energy in the task of reconstructing a society in that image OR lower our sights only to see the concrete rules and specific details.

" This latter alternative … attaches higher priority to details and make them the focus of attention at the expense of the broader and more important objectives of Islam.

"Islam’s commitment to moral virtue, to justice, to equality and freedom … and to the promotion of humanitarian and compassionate values are of universal and perpetual significance.

" Failing to understand these will inevitably lead to the misapprehension and misinterpretation of Islam and its criminal justice.”(Muhammad Hashim Kamali)

- DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR

SECURITY SHOCKER: Piracy off Pulau Ketam, Japan vessel robbed, 3 taken HOSTAGE

SECURITY SHOCKER: Piracy off Pulau Ketam, Japan vessel robbed, 3 taken HOSTAGE
PORT KLANG - In another security fallout that is likely to further rock Prime Minister Najib Razak's beleaguered administration, a Japanese vessel was robbed by armed pirates wielding pistols and machetes some 16 nautical miles off Pulau Ketam, a fishing village and weekend-tourist spot.
According to national news agency Bernama, the captain and crew did not suffer any injury but three of the 18-member crew were abducted.
"I hope Najib won't resort to blaming the latest fiasco on anonymous quarters seeking to sabotage Malaysia-Japan ties," Opposition lawmaker Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
He was referring to the recent abduction of a Chinese tourist from a Sabah island resort, where Najib - facing bad press over his regime's botched handling of the missing airplane MH370 - had tried to pass off as a bid to sabotage Malaysia-China ties but did not name any suspects.
Lax security an open invitation to international criminals
Indeed, it will be tough for the Najib regime to explain the latest breach in Malaysian security. The nearness of the piracy attack to urban Malaysian shores will be the greatest cause for alarm.
"We cannot blame this on remote or difficult-to-man coastlines like those in Sabah or Sarawak. Pulau Ketam is part of Selangor, our most developed state. It is mind-boggling. I think it is obvious we are looking at a structural problem of weak governance, outdated processes, corruption, inefficiency and incompetence at our security institutions," Tian added.
"It is a breakdown that must be addressed by the federal government because these shortcomings have become so obvious, investors and tourists have already started thinking twice about choosing Malaysia while the bad hats and thugs from around the world will be encouraged to come here and create havoc because they know there are loopholes and weaknesses they can exploit."
Robbery well planned, oil siphoned off to 2 tankers
According to Malaysian marine police, five men - two of them armed with pistols and one with a machete - siphoned off two million litres of diesel from the Japanese vessel in the wee hours of Wednesday.
It is learnt that in the 1 am incident, the robbers also abducted three of the 18 crew of the ship which was on its way from Singapore to Myanmar with five million litres of the fuel.
Port Klang Marine Police commanding officer DSP Norzaid Muhammad Said said the robbers siphoned off the fuel to two tankers, taking between seven and eight hours to do, after tying up the crew including the captain.
"They then left the ship," he said.
Norzaid said the captain, after freeing himself, informed the diesel supplier in Singapore of the robbery.
The supplier lodged a report at the Johor Baharu police station which relayed the information to the marine police in Port Klang, he added.
"We sent our personnel to the location and found the Japanese vessel at Pulau Angsa. The ship was brought to the North Port here for further investigation," said Norzaid.
It is not clear if the pirates were of Malaysian origin or from neighboring Indonesia or Philippines.
Indonesian crew missing
But according to the Star newspaper, the crew only managed to free themselves several hours after the incident.
It was while doing a headcount that they realised that three of their Indonesian crew-mates were missing.
"The crew members comprised Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar and Indian nationals. But the Indonesians were nowhere in sight.
"We suspect that they have been kidnapped by the suspects.
"The ship has now has been anchored and we are investigating the case," said Norzaid. - Malaysia Chronicle