Pas’ attempt to introduce hudud ‘unconstitutional': Prabha
The two private members’ bills are an insult and affront to our constitutional and fundamental rights, asserts C V Prabhakaran.
Pas’ attempt to table in Parliament two private members’ bills to introduce hudud law in Kelantan is unconstitutional and should be objected to loudly and clearly.
Members of Parliament on both sides should object to them vehemently.
These bills are an insult and affront to our constitutional and fundamental rights. There is no particular Article or provision within our Constitution which allows criminal law and the criminal justice system to be amended, altered or changed or to be drastically interfered with. The passing of law contrary to Article11(1) of the constitution wherein “every person has the right to profess and practise his religion” is sacrosanct and cannot be changed to suit any particular person or political party.
The right to practise one’s own religion, having been strongly embodied in the Constitution, should not be changed or interfered with in the absence of any provision within the constitution to allow such change. Any attempt to do so can be challenged and be declared null and void. Hence, the Pas Private Members Bill is ad interim (from the beginning) unconstitutional.
The Bill infringes on Article 8 “that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law”. Further Article 8(2) provides that there “shall be no discrimination against citizen or gender in any law”. The Bill is clear discrimination.
On a matter of social justice, we should oppose the passing of this law.
Dato C V Prabhakaran is a former chairperson of the Penang Bar Committee.