Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Syariah Law? No, thank you!

Recently there have been calls for the common law system and the syariah law system to be merged. This suggestion came from none less than the former Chief Justice, Tun Abdul Hamid. Today we have newspapers quoting one Datuk Ibrahim Lembut, Syariah Court Judge and Syariah Judicial Department director-general, saying “Islam will defend everybody. The impression that merging the two court systems will override the rights of the non-Muslims is wrong. Syariah laws and Islam will think of every religion and race”.

Yeah, right! Tell that to the Hindu mother who lost custody of her child after the Syariah court granted custody to her muslim convert ex-husband, against all international norms for custody. Tell that to the families who had the bodies of their loved ones snatched from them, preventing them from conducting the final rites.

Subjecting non-muslims to syariah law is just wrong. It is against the very core of our rights, and we will oppose it at all cost. I do not wish to enter into a discussion on the practicality, the perceived equality and sense of justice of syariah law. I don't care. I just do not want to be subjected to it, and I ought not to.

The very fact that someone could even suggest something like this annoys me. This is setting a dangerous precedence. I lend support to the civil lawyers who attended talks, where this issue was brought up, who refused to even consider this idea. I lend support to MCA's legal bureau head, Datuk Leong Tang Chong, who shot down the idea. I urge MIC's legal bureau to quickly state their stand as well. We must be bold.

There shall be no compromise on issues such as this. We have compromised too much already. The MIC's preference for closed door solutions to problems is exactly what lead to the believe that we were not doing anything to solve Indian problems. Our perceived cowardice to stand up to UMNO's bulldozing attitude pertaining to matters of multiracial interest lent credibility to our critics. Enough is enough.

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