Friday, April 04, 2008

Punishing non-Muslims for khalwat against Constitution

PETALING JAYA: It is unconstitutional to punish non-Muslims for committing khalwat (close proximity) as there is no provision in law for it, according to the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism.

Its president Datuk A. Vaithilingam said Article 121(A) of the Constitution allowed for separation between the Civil and Syariah courts.

“Khalwat is not recognised (as an offence) under civil law. It is not wrong for non-Muslims. Syariah law is only applicable to Muslims,” he said Thursday.

He was commenting on a proposal made during a seminar on Syariah Law review for non-Muslims who commit khalwat with Muslims to also be held liable.

Syariah Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Asri Abdullah said the seminar had proposed that non-Muslims committing khalwat with Muslims be likewise sentenced but in the civil courts.
Vaithilingam also said this was tantamount to depriving non-Muslims of their rights.

Federation of Taoist Associations Malaysia president Tan Bon Sin said in a statement it vehemently objected to the proposal, as it was an affront to the Taoist community’s way of life.
“It is an implied way of imposing Syariah law on the non-Muslim communities in Malaysia,” he said.

“Holding hands with, or showing love for, the opposite sex in public is not, and cannot, be a crime. It is a civilised way of telling your loved ones that you care.
seals: some Judge who has forgot the basic LAW and the Constitution ? Send him back in time....

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