Pas doesn’t respect the Federal Constitution!

The party must remember that it won power in Kelantan through the democratic process. Now it must accept that process and honour the court's decision

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Whenever a dispute arises over a matter of disagreement which cannot be settled by common sense and compromise, it is referred to the judiciary to act as an arbitrator for a settlement.

In most cases, the final decision of the court is accepted graciously and the matter ends there. But it is not uncommon to have disgruntled disputants who don’t allow matters to rest. They will stir up emotions and arouse feelings of hate over the court’s decision.

This is what is happening in the case of Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code Amendments 2019, passed by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly. The state assembly passed 18 amendments to make illegitimate certain acts and behaviour.

Two lawyers from Kelantan, a mother and daughter, challenged the amendments and referred the case to the Federal Court for a constitutional decision. Nik Elin and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Natasha Tengku Abdul Rahman wanted these amendments nullified.

A full bench of nine judges, headed by the Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, heard the arguments from both sides, and deliberated on the outcome. They ruled in an 8-1 majority decision to allow the petition by Nik Elin and Tengku Yasmin Natasha to nullify the 16 Kelantan Sharia criminal provisions.

In delivering the decision of the highest court of the land, the chief justice took pains to emphasise that the issue before the court had nothing to do with the position of Islam or the Sharia courts in the country.

All that was needed of the court was to determine whether the Kelantan state assembly made the provisions in accordance with the limitations set by the Federal Constitution or otherwise.

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Clearly, the state assembly had erred in passing these amendments. And therefore, they were nullified by the supreme court of judges overwhelmingly.

But the secretary general of Pas condemned the decision as a “Black Friday” for Sharia laws. He threatened: “Starting from this moment, we will mobilise our roadshows across the nation.”

There is also a suggestion that the Federal Constitution must be amended to empower Sharia laws.

The Pas stand on this matter raises some pertinent questions. We must ask Takiyuddin Hassan why Pas participated in the court proceedings in the first instance. If it felt that it was not a matter concerning the Federal Court, it should have stayed away from it. In other words, it should have boycotted the proceedings.

Having participated, the party has a moral obligation to respect the final decision of the court. Being a lawyer, Takiyuddin should be aware of this. The verdict is the end of the road for this issue. The buck stops here and Takiyuddin must honour and accept the decision. His stand on this issue is, therefore, puzzling!

It looks as if Pas is going to organise roadshows to keep this issue alive. It is politicising the Federal Court decision to mobilise support for the party. It is agitating Muslims by seemingly stirring the cauldron of hatred and fear.

It further wants to amend the Federal Constitution to empower Sharia laws. Is this possible? Pas is aware that it needs two-thirds of the votes in Parliament to amend the Constitution. Can it muster this number? Definitely not!

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Sarawak and Sabah will not support this move; nor will the DAP. Not all Muslims in Amanah and PKR will throw their weight behind Pas. It has no ghostly chance of being carried.

Why then has Pas chosen to go down this path? It is simple. It wants to keep the Muslims unhappy and angry with the “unity government” in order to do well in the next general election. So it will keep the cauldron of hatred boiling.

Pas must remember that it acquired power in Kelantan through the democratic process. Now it must accept that process and honour the court’s decision.

It must not disrespect the Federal Constitution.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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Chye
Chye
18 Feb 2024 10.26am

A beautiful and factful article by P.Ramakrishnan. Even better if this article to be posted in TikTok, Utube & Twitter, ideally in Bahasa Malaysia for the English Illitrates, as a piece of good advice & knowledge for them!!