The Star is simply deplorable!
By Lukman Sheriff, Tanjak
I’m saddened by the fact that the RUU 355 bill has still not been debated. But The Star has crossed the line with its false propaganda to try and deter the tabling of the bill.
The Star came to the fore with these Nov 24 front page banner headlines — ‘Solid “NO” to Hadi’s Bill’ and ‘Having two legal systems would tear Malaysia apart‘.
There is fair argument and there is false argument. The Star has promoted a false argument on this issue and crossed the line.
M’sian constitution permits dual legal system
We have had two legal systems i.e. Syariah and civil courts for a long time. A very long time even predating Merdeka.
When our constitution was enacted, it incorporated this legacy. Since then, the limits of offences for syariah criminal laws triable in Syariah Courts have been established by federal law.
This is expressly mandated by the constitution. Thus Act 355 and its predecessors came about.
OUR CONSTITUTION PERMITS THIS DUAL SYSTEM EXPRESSLY.
However, during the discourse I had with a number of people, a great number of non Muslims are not aware of the role of Syariah Courts in our society, and thus some falsely think this Act 355 affects the non Muslims.
Somehow some Muslims also argue the same. And then there is also a number who are under a misconception that our constitution is wholly secular and thus demand that religion and state be separated.
These are all fraudulent arguments against the context and express wordings of our constitution.