Give fair treatment to PAS, people of Kelantan, says Hassan

PKR MP Hassan Karim says the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Offences (I) Enactment 2019 is a ‘manifestation of the people’s will’.

(FMT) – A PKR MP believes that society needs to be fair to the PAS government in Kelantan and its people who want the “Islamic message” to be upheld through the implementation of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Offences (I) Enactment 2019.

Speaking outside the legal context, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim, who is also a lawyer, said three aspects need to be considered: politics, history, and the cultural context of the state governed by PAS for more than 33 years, since 1990.

According to Hassan, the enactment approved by the state assembly and given the Kelantan sultan’s consent, must have been carefully planned, emphasising that the PAS government is not “amateurish”, and there were legal advisers experienced in the Federal Constitution behind it.

“When the menteri besar of Kelantan, PAS assemblymen and legal advisers are aware of the risks and the possibility of the enactment being challenged in court and invalidated, as is happening now, why do they still insist on proceeding with the enactment?

“The answer lies in the political, historical, and cultural factors of the Kelantanese people, which differ from most other states in the Federation of Malaysia,” he said in a Facebook post.

According to Hassan, more than 90% of the Kelantanese, who are Muslims, have chosen PAS to bring forward the agenda of dignifying shariah law democratically, and the enactment is a manifestation of their will.

“While we agree and respect the Federal Constitution and the decisions of the Federal Court, I, as a non-PAS member but a PKR MP whose politics support multi-ethnic and multi-religious policies, urge us to be fair to the PAS government and the entire Kelantanese people, who want the Islamic message to be upheld.

“This matter cannot be decided by the Federal Court, but should be left to the court of the people (elections).

“In this regard, the word ‘conscience’ mentioned by Mahatma Gandhi is relevant,” he said.

Last Friday, the Federal Court made a decision in favour of the petition filed by lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter, Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman, to invalidate 16 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Offences (I) Enactment 2019 on the grounds that they are in conflict with the Federal Constitution.

A panel of nine judges, chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, reached a majority decision of 8-1 that the state legislative assembly has no authority to approve the 16 provisions in the enactment because the involved errors are covered under federal law.