The Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019, which came into effect on Monday, Nov 1, contained several questionable amendments. With the latest amendments, many of the new provisions were of concern to the society because it may trigger a domino effect for the other states under Islamic law to do the same. This will not only drive an unhealthy effect on policy-making in a secular Malaysia formed in 1963 but towards the nation’s development as a multi-ethnic, multi-faith country.
The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) believes that, as “anak Malaysia”, we must fight to nurture and maintain our nation’s diversity. The judicial amendments carried out by the government of Kelantan will not contribute to the development of our country as a Keluarga Malaysia; if a member of the family feels the tightening of laws in the house, especially in the context of “one family, two sets of laws”, it will not make for a happy home.
The original Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) documented the dream to unite the Peninsula with our historically-significant Bornean counterparts, Sabah and Sarawak. To unite with them as the Federation of Malaysia, will ensure that our legislative systems will be strengthened – and safeguarded – from both colonisation and Islamisation. As the increased fear of Islamisation continues to creep further into the country, none of us will rightly feel at home in Malaysia. All our forefathers, namely Tunku Abdul Rahman, will have their sweat and tears – towards building the nation – be seen going down the proverbial longkang.
Although the Syariah Criminal Code (I) stated that it only applies to muslims in Kelantan, the larger effect of a recent wave of conservative Islamisation is of concern to non muslims given the recent ban on liquor sales and TIMAH issue.