Dr Mahathir issues his fatwah on the Syariah

mahathir umno

(MMO) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not buying assertions by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang touting his private member’s Bill to strengthen the Shariah courts’ punitive powers as Islamic.

On the contrary, the 90-year-old claimed the proposed legislation to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 tabled in Parliament last week to be “unjust,” several news media reported today.

“They are trying to do something that is unjust, cutting off a Muslim’s hand when a non-Muslim gets two months jail.

“What they are proposing is un-Islamic,” Dr Mahathir was quoted by The Star Online telling reporters after launching the Perdana Global Peace Foundation’s War Disaster Fund here.

PAS is seeking to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to empower the Islamic courts to impose any punishment besides the death sentence.

Debate erupted over Hadi’s Bill after the government promoted its tabling in the Dewan Rakyat on May 26, dividing the country into two camps.

Supporters are largely from the Muslim Malay community represented by PAS and Umno, while non-Muslims form the bulk of naysayers who fear the amendments, if approved, will further erode the powers of the civil justice system and pave the way for the implementation of hudud.