Hudud exposes undercurrent of hate, hopelessness

There are many questions which hudud does not address and it doesn’t require any of us to go to law school to ask them

Mariam Mokhtar, Free Malaysia Today

The article last week “Reject hudud before it destroys our lives” (April 25, 2014) managed to expose the undercurrent of hate and hopelessness which many Malaysians secretly harbour.

Sadly many people have forgotten that they are Malaysians and that they live in a multi-cultural country. Malaysia is not an Islamic state although Islam is the official religion.

Malaysia has been shaped by waves of immigrants including the Malay, drawn by the promise of a new future. Anyone who doubts our secular status can check the constitution.

The article was based on the various responses of a cross section of Malaysians both in Malaysia and abroad of Muslims and non-Muslims, rich and poor, young and old.

The piece was written around the answers I received from members of the public when I asked them about the implementation of hudud in Malaysia.

My most immediate reaction to the feedback is, “Did some of the detractors read beyond the title?”

If this is a reflection of the reading culture of Malaysians then an article about Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s education policies should enter the pipeline. What is taught in Malaysian schools?

Most of the people who claim to be Muslims came across as arrogant and brash. Their attitude is, “I am Muslim, so I am right. You are kaffir, so you must be wrong.” Umno Baru’s divisive policies of race and religion have worked.

These Muslims bring shame to Islam. With this holier than thou attitude it won’t be long before the nation descends into the sort of Muslim countries like Sudan or Afghanistan, where reason and logic have lost all meaning, where might is right.

Today we might be told that hudud should be implemented because it is God’s law. Tomorrow we could all find that we must lead our lives as prescribed by various Muslim clerics. Malaysian women are right to fear the possibility of being denied an education.

One of the more hilarious responses was “Is Mariam even a Muslim?” This just shows the simplistic and illogical thinking of many Malays who appear unable to express themselves coherently.

Some of the commentators stated that the readers and I did not have a right to discuss or write about hudud, because we are “not taught in hudud law”.

They would be better employed in telling that to the lawyers and judges in our compromised judiciary. Despite their law degrees, the judiciary has yet to try any of the corrupt politicians who have been stealing the rakyat’s money, despite plenty of evidence and eyewitness accounts. Nor have they made any attempt to examine Malaysia’s most infamous murder.

Vicious cycle

There have also been extraordinary remarks that “many non-Muslims will opt for the hudud once they can see the advantage of it over other forms of laws.”

Currently few Malaysians trust the judiciary or the enforcement of laws. Just because hudud is “God’s law” does not mean that the people who implement it are incorruptible.

We have yet to see proper enforcement of the current laws in our nation. A bribe secures a release from an offence and justice is open to the highest bidder.

There are many questions which hudud does not address and it doesn’t require any of us to go to law school to ask them.

What is the cut-off point in RM, for theft? Is the punishment for someone who steals some milk to feed his starving baby similar to the MP who abuses the rakyat’s money to the tune of millions of Ringgits?

Who will testify in a corruption case involving civil servants or government ministers? Whistleblowers who feel honour-bound to reveal corruption within the government are prosecuted, whilst the criminals remain scot-free, despite a damning paper trail.