Home Latest News Current Affairs Abolish Federal Constitution 121(1A) clause , Syariah Court to handle Islamic-related cases only

Abolish Federal Constitution 121(1A) clause , Syariah Court to handle Islamic-related cases only

Friday, 22 March 2013 00:00

In view of the issue where recently 72 Hindu organisations urged the government to amend constitution-The rule that Syariah court cannot handle non-Islamic affairs, a joint press release is issued from the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM), Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Malaysian Chapter, Malaysia Christian Youth Association (MCYA), The Federation of Clans and Guilds Youth Association of Malaysia, Gerakan Belia Bersatu Malaysia and Persatuan Graduan Muda Malaysia, to support such urge. Malaysia Constitution ensures religious freedom of belief and worship to every citizen when Islam is the official religion thus ensures every religion can develop in a fair and free environment.

Non-Islamic affairs should not be managed by Syariah court. Its setup is limited to hear only Islamic cases. Whenever it involves non-Islamic matters it should be heard in the Civil Court. If non-Islamic cases were heard in the Syariah Court, then it raise suspect of abusing freedom of religious belief, thereby also raise public doubts against judiciary fairness.

In the past there were many non-Islamic cases that were heard in the Syariah Court including ‘Snatching National Hero Corpse’case, Renouncing Islam when One-half died or Application of renouncing child’s religion and once very Hot ‘Lina Joy’case, etc. These have already caused mis-trust against Malaysian Judiciary, especially Interpreting‘Freedom of Religious Belief’clauses in the Constitution has raised a lot of doubts and worries.

Federal Constitution 121(1A) clause was formed to let Syariah Court has the same judicial status as the Civil Court that is, Civil Court cannot review whatever decision made by the Syariah Court. This kind of judicial Double-Track phenomenon has made people doubtful of who has the ultimate power in the final decisions made. This also causes the nation to drop into limitless debates and protests. In the end, it will let our national judiciary falling into Confidence Crisis.

In addition, on the legal cases that involves both Muslims and non-Muslims, whether the Syariah Court or Civil Court possess the power of final verdict is something questionable. The loopholes in the legal provisions will lead the country into an endless controversy and confrontation, and in the worse scenario, broken trust in the national judicial.

The government should be more sensitive towards the needs of various religions in this multicultural and multi religious country; the government should also realise the implication that arises following from this problem, how it brings to the disharmony among the people and religions. The joint bodies urge the government to abolish the Federal Constitution 121(1A) clause as to resume the power of Civil Court for the final verdict.