Non-Mulsims Protest Malaysian Proposal to Adopt Syariah Law

August 28, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Hindu Press International

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, August 28, 2007: The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism is distressed at the statements made by the Chief Justice and the Attorney General of Malaysia which seem to advocate the wholesale replacement of 50 years of legal tradition in Malaysia.

On August 22, 2007, The Star reported that the Chief Justice was reported to have called for the abolition of the use of English common law and advocated its replacement with Syariah and customary laws. It was reported in the August 23 edition of the Utusan Malaysia, that the attorney general was reported to have supported the view of the Chief Justice and said that Syariah laws are best, as they emphasize justice and equal distribution of rights. The editorial of Utusan Malaysia of the same day called for a repeal of section 3 of the Civil Law Act of 1956 to be replaced with a mixture of Syariah and customary laws to form the basis of a Malaysian common law. we are also concerned at the subsequent statements by Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department Dato' Seri Nazri Aziz and Datuk Dr. Abdullah Md Zin who both seem to welcome such a reappraisal. Of particular concern are the statements of Datuk Dr. Abdullah Md Zin who has welcomed the suggestion to implement Syariah to replace the common law and advocated that it be done in stages (Utusan, 24/8/2007).

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism wish to emphasize that all our religions teach justice, equality and fairness. We remind ourselves that the use of the common law, a body of judge-made law originally derived from England and now a part of the law in most of the Commonwealth, applies only where there is no Malaysian Statutes to deal with the case. As distinguished from Syariah law, the common law is administered by secular courts, i.e. our Civil Courts.