The following was sent to me directly by Dr Dzulkefly who I have met a few times. My comments follow.
By Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad
Strategy Director, Parti Amanah Negara.
Education : University of Birmingham, Imperial College London, University of Surrey.
I almost fell off my chair when I read a news report about Prime Minister Najib Razak urging the rakyat not to vote “those who don’t want Islam developed”. He didn’t quite elaborate on how to develop Islam though.
On the back of a litany of “sins of omissions and commissions”, namely the scandal of an unprecedented nature in relation to 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd, involving billions of ringgit in public funds and taxpayer money, Najib’s words sound hollow.
Najib has also conveniently forgotten or selectively chosen to be amnesic about the abuse of funds and mismanagement by some of his lieutenants in certain government agencies and GLCs.
Najib must be made to understand that he cannot hoodwink the rakyat by posturing that he was helping PAS or Islam by getting the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU355 tabled, for the third time, but then instructing the speaker of the Dewan Rakyat to not allow debate on it.
If he thinks that is “developing Islam” then he is unmistakably under an illusion. It is wishful thinking of the highest order. The rakyat, especially the Muslim constituencies, are no longer as gullible or naive as before. Perhaps he and Umno are still oblivious to this changing reality. Perhaps Najib is in need of a little preaching since he has started to be a preacher himself now.
Let me remind Najib and his new ally PAS that the utmost objective of shariah, insofar as government is concerned, is to manage the resources of the nation responsibly, sustainably and prudently, so as to achieve “prosperity and distributive justice for all”. That is categorically stated in Surah Hud:61, calling for “Al-Isti’mar” or, in the widest sense, “prosperity and well-being” for all.
Allah has outrightly denounced and cursed those steeped in the practise of fraud and injustices, driven essentially by greed and dishonesty. Allah says; “Woe unto those that deal in fraud” in the Surah (Chapter) Al-Mutaffifeen and reminds them of the final reckoning on the day of judgement, when everyone will stand before the lord of the worlds.
The Malay-Muslim community particularly, must be made to understand in very clear terms that striving for “Islamic development” is about “achieving justice and attaining prosperity for all” and getting rid of corrupt and dishonest Malay-Muslim leaders, who are responsible for the rising cost of living and withdrawal of subsidies and imposing the burdensome and regressive GST or consumption tax on the rakyat.
The Malays especially must be told that these are the leaders who actually perpetuate gross income and wealth disparities by amassing huge wealth through nepotism and crony capitalism. Hence, denying the right and development of the poor and marginalised sections of the rakyat.
Islamic development is surely not about merely increasing the limit of punishment, especially if the “offenders” are from the lower income group, while the political elites and their super-rich friends are free to plunder the wealth of the nation – wealth that is meant to develop the rakyat, particularly the poor, who then have to rob or steal to survive or be driven to social vices out of desperation and poverty.
I challenge Najib to honestly disclose and declassify the findings of the report of the Auditor- General on the 1MDB investigation. Najib has committed a grave “sin of omission” in Islam by classifying the controversial 1MDB report – on the unaccounted for or missing RM14 billion in 1MDB funds – under the Official Secrets Act. That is a grave sin indeed! I challenge any mufti, worth their salt, to denounce me as going against the “Maslahah Ammah” or “public interest”.
In no way has Saudi Arabian ruler King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud’s visit to Malaysia exonerated Najib from the infamous RM2.6 billion found in his personal AmBank Islamic accounts. The SRC International issue – where money was borrowed from the pension fund KWAP – also needs immediate reckoning.
On the back of this and a litany of other wrongdoings on his part, it becomes a huge mockery for Najib to slander his political opposition as being ‘unislamic’. In fact, his opponents have better and more substantive ways of strengthening the Shariah Court, rather than merely upping the limit of punishments.
I have not even touched on the deepening crisis of racial disharmony and the increasing religious conflict that is anathema to and at loggerheads with “Islam as mercy unto all”.
So what are we talking about when we say ‘Islamic development’, Mr PM?
com/category/opinion/2017/04/ 19/what-is-islamic- development-mr-prime-minister/
My comments : Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is the Strategy Director of Parti Amanah Negara. As Dr Dzul says the people are not blind to what is going on.
I fully agree with Dr Dzul that there are "better and more substantive ways of strengthening the Shariah Court, rather than merely upping the limit of punishments."
Here Dr Dzul is referring to the RUU355 amendments. The camouflage been painted is that the RUU355 is necessary to "strengthen the Shariah Court".
This is a completely untrue and illogical statement in many ways.
Firstly the "strength" of any Court does not depend on the severity of its punishment.
The strength of any legal system anywhere in the world depends on its capacity to carry out and deliver justice fairly, equally and quickly for all human beings on an equal footing.
And also that the justice reaches all corners and all sectors of the society and the communities without exemption. This means the justice system will reach the smallest villager and the wealthiest corporate billionaire just as equally.
In one neighbouring country, their Shariah Courts do not have jurisdiction over the ruling royal family. And they still think they are Muslim.
The severity of punishment does not determine the strength of any court.
In almost ALL western countries, Japan, South Korea and Israel, they have abolished the death penalty. There is no more death penalty. Yet their Courts and legal systems are stronger and more robust than that of ANY Islamic country, including Malaysia.
Among the strongest and most powerful Courts in the world today are those in South Korea, Israel, the US, the UK and the Western countries. In these countries, the Courts can even convict and jail sitting heads of government.
The South Korean Courts have just caused their president to be kicked out.
"30 MARCH 2017 • Park Geun-hye, the former South Korean president, has been arrested and jailed over a high profile corruption scandal that has already seen her ousted from office and prompted early elections. A court approved her arrest before dawn on Friday, on charges of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion and leaking government secrets, and Ms Park, 65, was immediately driven to a detention centre in the south of the capital, Seoul."
On the other hand, compared to South Korea, our former AG Ghani Patail was fired from his job because he had drafted a Charge Sheet for corruption against Najib Tun Razak, the Prime Minister.
And in Israel, their Courts have jailed a former president for rape.
- Their former PM Ehud Olmert was jailed for graft.
- Avigdor Lieberman – Israel's former foreign minister was convicted in September 2001 of threatening and assaulting a 12-year-old who had hit his son.
- Yitzhak Mordechai – Israel's Minister of Defense and Minister of Transport in the 1990s was convicted of harassing and sexually assaulting two women during his military service and later periods.
- Rafael Pinhasi – Minister of Communications between 1990 and 1992 was convicted of illegal transfer of funds, and sentenced to 12 months probation and a fine.
So the strength of any Court does not depend on the severity of the punishment. Instead it depends on the Court's ability to administer justice fairly, equally and quickly to all the people.
Having said that let me say that the RUU355 is certainly NOT Islamic.
Where in the Quran does it talk about RM100,000 fine for religious offences? Or 30 years jail for religious offences?
The Quran mentions 100 lashes but it is specific for zina only.
There is no blanket 100 lashes for ALL religious offences.
Therefore RUU355 is NOT Islamic.
It is certainly NOT in the Quran.
Therefore how can something that is NOT in the Quran and NOT in Islam be used to strengthen the Syariah Court?
And finally I dont think "30, 100, 100" punishment is found in the syariah (of the mullahs) either. Dalam hukum syarak pun tak ada.
The big question mark that needs answering is :
What is this RUU355?
Where does it come from?
The "30, 100, 100" is just a big concoction by Hadi Awang.
Some people say that the RUU355 is a 'hukum ta'zir'.
Hukum ta'zir in brief means 'the Courts discretion'.
It is up to the Court to decide.
Here is some background. The syariah of the mullahs says that to convict for adultery and fornication you must bring FOUR MALE MUSLIM witnesses to the Mahkamah Syariah.
The same applies for rape cases if the victim becomes pregnant. To prove that she became pregnant from rape, the woman must also bring FOUR MALE MUSLIM WITNESSES who actually witnessed her being raped. Otherwise she can get stoned to death for adultery.
So far this has been impossible to do. In the 1400 years of Islamic history, there has never been ONE SINGLE CASE where a victim of rape has been able to free herself from the charge of adultery or fornication by bringing FOUR MALE MUSLIM WITNESSES who saw her being raped.
THERE IS NOT ONE SUCH CASE IN OVER 1400 YEARS OF ISLAMIC HISTORY.
When Tun Dr Mahathir as Prime Minister raised this issue with reference to the Hudud of PAS, it was Hadi Awang who replied that the Syariah Court can handle rape cases by falling back on Hukum Ta'zir.
Hukum Ta'zir simply means it is up to the "Courts discretion."
So according to Hukum Ta'zir "FOUR MALE MUSLIM WITNESSES" ARE NOT NECESSARY.
Hukum ta'zir can also set any new and unheard of limits of punishment.
The RUU355's "30, 100, 100" is one of them.
Hukum ta'zir can also create new offences and crimes.
Not wearing tudung can be made a crime. Punishable by 30, 100, 100.
Not closing business during maghrib prayer (in Kelantan) can be made a crime. Punishable by 30, 100, 100.
So in reality Hukum Ta'zir DOES NOT EXIST.
When something is not clearly defined, when it CANNOT BE CODIFIED, WHEN IT CANNOT BE FULLY WRITTEN DOWN, THEN IT DOES NOT YET EXIST.
IT IS STILL OPEN ENDED.
IT IS STILL NOT COMPLETE.
SO IT STILL DOES NOT FULLY EXIST.
For those of you who are finding it difficult to follow this, imagine this situation :
The Federal Parliament approves a set of punishments :
1. death by firing squad
2. 25 years jail
3. RM250,000 fine.
Parliament says these are the maximum punishments.
Then you ask : To punish what?
The answer is : We dont know yet.
It could be anything. Just in case the Parliament has to pass new laws in the future, these will be the maximum punishments.
Then you will (or should ask) : How can you define the punishments without defining the crime or the offence?
Parliament answers : This is up to Parliament's discretion.
And that is exactly what the RUU 355 is -
30 years jail, 100 lashes and RM100,000 fine to be passed by the Parliament of Malaysia for crimes that are yet to be determined.
These are NOT Islamic laws.
In the Quran the heaviest "punishment" is 100 lashes and it is SPECIFICALLY FOR ZINA.
There is no mention of 30 years jail or RM100,000 fine.
The combination of 30 years jail, 100 lashes and RM100,000 fine is not found in other Islamic countries as well. This is purely Hadi Awang.