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Stop Islamisation, give back judicial power says Bon

Sun 2011-Dec-4 @ +08 19:43:45 pm

To put things in perspective

Lawyer and activist Edmund Bon made a strong plea today to all political leaders to help restore the judiciary’s powers — stripped by the Mahathir administration in a constitutional amendment in 1988 — and called for political action to end the creeping Islamisation of Malaysian life that had eroded the full religious freedoms of all citizens guaranteed by the constitution.

Speaking at a public forum on hudud (Islamic criminal punishment), Bon said hudud punishment could not be implemented without federal government approval, which would probably not be forthcoming, nor without amendments to the constitution.

Hecalled for calm conversation and an end to the emotional political rhetoric which had clouded the issue. Hudud was not the issue, it was the creeping Islamisation of government policy and administration encouraged by the ruling Barisan Nasional over the years.

He also called for an end to capital punishment and whipping: death by hanging was regarded as cruel and unusual punishment under human rights law and he said “for me, amputation and death is the same”.

Bon also strongly urged government leaders (particularly MCA leaders present) to stand up for religious freedom and handle the issue of Islamisation as a matter of prime importance.

His remarks would seem to be a stinging rebuke of MCA which, having in the past decades condoned the erosion of religious freedom and the loss of the supremacy of civil law and erosion of civil liberties, had now organised the forum. Views posted on the Internet showed that many felt the forum was merely held for political advantage to convince the public that implementation of hudud laws would result in non-Muslims being affected.

The political motive was evident in MCA president Chua Soi Lek’s rant against hudud and his challenge to Pakatan Rakyat, which he asked the press to highlight.

Main points raised by Edmund Bon:

  • Islamisation over the years had created fears among the non-Muslim population; these issues had not been dealt with;
  • Court decisions and administrative decisions had eroded constitutional rights of religious freedoms
  • The Attorney-General and all state legal advisers kept in line with the Islamisation policies
  • Hudud could not be implemented without federal government approval, unlikely at present
  • Constitutional amendments may be required because of safeguards against cruel and unusual punishment.
  • There was too much rhetoric: Tariq Ramadan had called for a moratorium to allow proper discussion
  • Religious leaders differ in their interpretations, and on whether hudud may be carried out on non-Muslims
  • If the MCA were against hudud, they should also abolish the death penalty and whipping

» Tweets by Edmund Bon and others



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