Friday, August 24, 2007

Chief Justice adopting Syariah laws for civil courts by stealth?

In a malaysiakini news article on judges who delay written judgments, former AG and now (Suhakam) chairperson Abu Talib Othman stated:

“It’s entirely up to the CJ (chief justice) to move (on this). (Stemming) the rot is in his hands. It’s (only a matter of) whether he wants to exercise the powers or not.”

The malaysiakini news was appropriately titled Abu Talib: Up to CJ to stop judicial rot.

It’s a pity Abu Talib didn’t tell the Chief Justice to also cease and desist in his attempt by stealth to introduce Syariah laws into our civil courts.

A few days ago, the Chief Justice had, I believe, ‘tested the waters’ by airing his thoughts that there was no need to use English common law after 50 years of independence, suggesting another procedure as a substitute.

He didn’t mention what the other procedure would be.

I believe it was Param Cumaraswamy, a former UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and also former chairman of the Malaysian Bar Association, who rejected the CJ’s suggestion, saying the Malaysian legal system has over the years developed a local flavour to the ‘common laws’ inherited from the British, and therefore there was no need to tamper with the current system.

Today, The Star Online let the cat out of the CJ’s bag when it quoted Dr Abdullah Zin, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (for religious affairs) praising the CJ’s proposal to use Syariah law to replace English common law in court. Abdullah Zin said that Syariah law gives importance to justice.

He added that the CJ’s proposal to proceedings should be studied thoroughly first and, if approved, should be done in stages. He believed that it would also be a further development for Syariah law in the country in addition to introducing a uniform Syariah law in all states.

Needless to say, our dear Attorney-General, the one who recently instructed the ACA, over whom he had no authority, to stop corruption investigations into two top law officers, also responded positively to the CJ’s proposal.

All these seemed to be coordinated and graduated steps in the government’s intention to introduce Syariah laws into the civil courts, bearing in mind the recent assertion by the DPM that Malaysia is an Islamic nation.

Hey, all PAS has to do is to sit quietly and let UMNO do all the work of turning Malaysia into a full-fledged Islamic nation with Syariah and Huddud laws - PAS' dream is about to be realised, courtesy of UMNO.

And weren’t some UMNO members touting the so-called ‘social contract’ we were supposed to have? Did that ‘social contract’ plan for the introduction of Syariah laws into our civil legal system?



  1. You should read the fine print...UMNO reserves the right to amend the Social Contract as it sees fit. Anyone else impinging on the Social Contract is treading on Sedition.

    Yes, this is a strategy to make Syariah the law of the land, via the back door. Not necessary to amend the Constitution.

    They will just do it gradually, via judicial practice. Then one find day, we will wake up and find it has become Malarabia.

    Minor side issue - look out for the ladies choir which will be singing at the Merdeka celebrations - its multi-racial, but they have all been required to wear Tudung "for the sake of visual uniformity"

  2. And those non-Muslim women in the choir said nothing? I'd walk out if I were them. Isn't wearing a uniform baju enough?

    This backdoor Islamisation thing has been happening for a long time, only that they're being more direct now. I've always contended that letting the Jabatan Agama Islam venture into areas normally outside their purview such as health was opening the door to that Islamisation but few people recognised it as that.

    Oh yes, PAS doesn't need to do anything. All they need to do is make some extreme noises and UMNO will counter by moving some way towards the PAS position which is what PAS wanted in the first place.