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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Death for mother of nine: Where is the noise?

 

From Sheith Khidhir

Timah, the name of a local award-winning brand of whisky, was the top news in the week of Oct 18 to 24. Opinion writers, journalists and netizens couldn’t seem to stop sharing views and news on the subject.

Celebrity cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat was also thrust into the limelight, especially following foreign reports of her new life in Australia and how backwards and bigoted Malaysia was for causing so much trouble for a member of the transgender community.

This article’s purpose is neither to condemn anyone’s opinion nor to put forth its own argument regarding either of the topics. Instead, it looks at one story that no writer or netizen seem to care much about.

On Oct 15, Hairun Jalmani, a 55-year-old mother of nine, was given the death sentence at the Tawau High Court in Sabah over possession of methamphetamine.

That the death sentence is pronounced on drug offenders is not news for Malaysia and most of Southeast Asia. Among the few who did share their opinions regarding Hairun, most were supportive of her conviction and sentencing, to hell with how many mouths she had to feed or her position as a poor single mother, living in one of the poorest states in the country, selling fish for a living.

See Hua Daily had a video of Hairun crying while being escorted out of the courtroom. In the clip, she can be heard asking how her children would be cared for after her death.

Still, according to most Malaysians, this woman deserves death. She was, after all, found guilty with a significant amount of methamphetamine (113.9 grams) and the law is the law.

The law is the law although former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, who are currently facing charges over one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the country, were allowed to fly to Singapore to see their daughter give birth. The law is the law although Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also facing corruption charges, was allowed to travel to Munich to treat his back and neck pain.

The law is the law and this article does not intend to argue with that. Instead, it seeks an answer to a simple question: Where’s the noise? Where is the same volume of noise given to Timah and Sajat? Why is it that a brand of whisky and the question of whether a person is born a man or not take precedence over the life of a mother of nine children whose lives hang in the balance?

Following the footsteps of the Prophet?

On Oct 19, Muslims celebrated Maulidur Rasul as many believe the date coincided with the anniversary, in the Islamic calendar, of the birth of their most beloved prophet. Our new prime minister was quoted as saying the government would continue to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad in his “Malaysian Family” administration.

There is a famous story recorded in Sahih Muslim about a woman who approached the Prophet to confess, out of remorse, that she had committed fornication, the punishment for which was death. The Prophet turned away from her, dismissing her from the gathering.

The next day, she returned and once again publicly confessed her crime, saying she had become pregnant. The Prophet told her to return only after the birth of the child.

After she had given birth, the woman returned, this time bringing the child with her. The Prophet told her to suckle the child until it was weaned.

Were the Prophet to know what this mother of nine had done and that a court had sentenced her to death, how would he react?

Since there is so much noise regarding Timah and Sajat, especially from the Muslim community and from politicians claiming to champion the cause of Islam, where is the noise for fellow Muslim Hairun Jalmani? -FMT

Sheith Khidhir is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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