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Corpun file 26601 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 13 July 2017
40 lashes for drinking, 100 for sex offences: Kelantan's amended Syariah Bill goes tough on errant Muslims
PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network, Bernama) -- Apart from public caning, the recently passed amendments to Kelantan's Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 (Amendment 2017) Bill imposes greater punishments.
According to the amended Bill, consuming alcohol will be punishable with 40 strokes of the rotan, sodomy and illicit sex offences with 100 strokes and qazaf (false accusations of illicit sex and sodomy) with 80 strokes of the rotan.
Previously, consuming alcohol, sodomy and illicit sex offences were punishable with six strokes of the rotan and attempted illicit sex offences were punishable with three strokes of the rotan.
Offences such as consuming alcohol, sodomy, illicit sex, attempted illicit sex and qazaf will be punishable with public caning.
The Bill also empowers religious enforcement officers to handcuff suspects while video clips and other digital displays will be able to be tendered as evidence in court.
Penalties will be also be raised and imposed on parents of juvenile offenders from fines not exceeding RM200 to RM5,000.
The amendment was passed on Wednesday (July 12) by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly.
The Bill, which also introduces community service punishments of not more than a year, gives authorities the power to suspend or remit punishments, or reduce or increase punishment for offences involving juvenile offenders, those who are in contempt of court or who give false statements.
The Bill also provides new provisions for offences that impede testimonies of witnesses in court proceedings.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters on Thursday (July 13) the amended Bill only applies to Muslims in Kelantan. He said the Kelantan government had the right to table the enactment amendment Bill as it had the majority in the state assembly.
"However, although the amendments have been passed, these still require the consent of the Kelantan Sultan for implementation," he added.
Corpun file 26602 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 20 July 2017
'Caning in Islam not an act of torture'
By Sira Habibu
KOTA BARU: Kelantan wants to show the world the proper caning method, as the punishment meted out under Syariah laws is aimed at teaching and not an act of torture, said State Islamic Development Committee chairman Datuk Nassuruddin Daud.
He said imposing caning outside the prison was timely to show the world how it should be done under Syariah laws.
"Unlike whipping in Western-influenced secular laws that can cause bleeding, caning in Islam is not meant to torture the convict but to teach the offender a lesson so as not to repeat the offence.
"That is why we went to great lengths to explain the method, including the directive not to hold the cane above the shoulder when punishing the convicted person, so that the pressure would be less and not cause bodily injuries.
"We have even specified the maximum length and diameter of the cane," he said, adding that the length of the cane must be 1.22m with a diameter of 1.25cm.
Nassuruddin said this in response to mixed reaction from public interest groups after the Kelantan Legislative Assembly passed the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment (2002) Amendment (2017) Bill that allowed caning outside the prison walls.
In a related development, PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan hit out at critics who condemned the Kelantan government for imposing public caning.
"It is unfortunate they are airing views that are far from the truth," he said.
He said those airing views from a narrow perspective would not see the bigger picture.
"You won't be able to describe the elephant before you if you only hold its leg," he added.
He said that although the amendment to the Enactment involved various other matters to further improve the Syariah criminal procedures, critics tend to harp only on public caning.
"Critics accused Kelantan of being obsessed with punishment. But is it not ironic that the critics are obsessed with punishing Kelantan without checking the details?" he asked.
Nasrudin added that the critics did not understand the difference between corporal punishment and measures undertaken for social security.
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