Shariah lawyers to critics: Don’t mess with court decisions

(Malaysian Mirror) – Do not harass or put pressure on those who are trying to enforce Islamic laws, the Malaysian Syarie Lawyers’ Association (PGSM) advised critics.

In a statement jointly issued with Pembela, an umbrella body of several Muslim NGOs, the association said everyone should adhere to and respect the decisions made by the syariah courts.

PGSM president and group spokesman Mohamad Isa Abdul Ralip said Malaysia is probably the only country that practises a unique dual-judiciary system, with two kinds of law running parallel and in harmony with each other.

This, he added, must be respected, maintained and strengthened.

Bar Council advised to stay out

However, he said, groups like the Bar Council and other non-Muslim based organisations should not interfere in the affairs of Islam and to just leave related issues to those who have the authority to deal with them.

The statement was issued in support of the decision of the Syariah High Court in Kuantan relating to the sentencing of part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (pic, with father) over a charge of consuming liquour.kartika-sari-dewi-shukarno 2.jpg

The 32-year-old mother of two kids was fined RM5,000 and sentenced to six strokes of the rotan after she pleaded guilty to drinking beer at a Cherating nightclub on July 12, 2007.

The caning has been postponed due to the Ramadan fasting month.

Mohamad Isa said PGSM and Pembela commend Kartika for the tolerance and patience she had shown in the face of the current polemics and for her willingness to allow the religious authorities to decide her fate.

Caning to educate

“The sentence and the caning punishment of the syariah court must be maintained and the regulations must be standardized across the whole country,” he said.

Mohamed Isa said caning, in the context of Muslim punishment, is for the purpose of education and is different from the penal nature of some provisions in the Common laws and the civil courts.

He added that the group regrets the statement by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein that there was no one authorized to carry out the syariah caning. “There are , in fact, authorized persons who can carry out the punishment.”