Non-Muslim religious leaders give a big ‘no’ to hudud in Malaysia


(The Star) — Hudud will affect non-Muslims in the country if it is implemented, said a Hindu leader.

Hindu Sangam president R.S. Mogan Shan said non-Muslims were already affected by existing Islamic laws, especially when it involved married couples and if one converted to Islam.

He cited the case of S. Shamala, whose husband became a Muslim and converted their sons without her knowledge or consent, leading to a long custody battle in court.

In an interview with the Free Malaysia Today news portal, Mogan said that while he respected Islam’s position as the official religion of the country, he did not agree with hudud being implemented in the country.

On Oct 25, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom told Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng in the Dewan Rakyat that hudud would not affect non-Muslims. He had said the Syariah Court only has jurisdiction on Muslims as stipulated under the Federal Constitution.

Mogan said Hindu Sangam was handling about 1,000 cases involving overlapping jurisdiction between Syariah and civil courts.

Malaysian Gurdwara Council president Jagis Singh said under Islamic law, non-Muslims were only known as protectorates (a weak faction protected by a stronger force).

In such situation, he felt the non-Muslim’s testimony would have little value.

He said that implementation of hudud would be unconstitutional as the highest law of the land, the Federal Constitution, guaranteed Malaysians equality before the law.

Brickfields Buddhist Mahavihara vice-president Premasilaka K.D. Serisena said hudud is a criminal justice system and with its implementation, a dual criminal justice system would be created.