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Judicial CP - April 2001

masthead The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 11 April 2001

Man jailed three years for credit card fraud

SANDAKAN: A 20-year-old man who chalked up bills totalling more than RM3,500 here and then paid for them with fake credit cards was jailed for three years by the magistrate's court yesterday.

Magistrate Egusra Ali also ordered Lin Chin Thiam be given four strokes of the rotan.

Prosecuting Officer Chief Insp Yusof Othman said police arrested Lin and two other companions at the parking lot of a hotel here on March 28 following a report lodged by a karaoke lounge manager that a man had paid a bill amounting to RM2,358 using a fake credit card.

Yusof said following Lin's arrest, police recovered more credit card slips in his car.

He said the slips showed that fake credit cards were also used to pay a hotel bill totalling RM897.64 and a restaurant bill of RM259.20.

1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

masthead Straits Times, Singapore, 21 April 2001


PAS wants to cut off limbs of criminals

Terengganu set to pass Islamic law that makes some crimes punishable by flogging, stoning and amputation

By Wan Hamidi Hamid
In Kuala Lumpur

THE Terengganu state government is preparing a draft of an Islamic penal code which will introduce the death penalty and allow the authorities to cut off limbs of criminals for certain offences.

The controversial hudud law, in its final stage of preparation, is likely to be tabled and passed by the state assembly, which is controlled by Parti Islam Se Malaysia (PAS).

But the move is likely to be blocked by the federal government.

The PAS-led state government in neighbouring Kelantan, for instance, introduced hudud law in 1993. But it could not implement the 15th-century Islamic criminal code as this exceeded the limits provided to courts under the federal Constitution.

The state Islamic courts - the Syariah courts - can deal with offences only where the maximum punishment is a jail term of up to three years, or a fine of not more than RM5,000 (S$2,370), or up to six strokes of the cane.

Any move to broaden the power of these courts - as Terengganu is now attempting to do - will require the federal Constitution to be amended. And to do that, PAS will need to muster a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

But the PAS government in Terengganu seems to want to press ahead.

Mr Harun Taib, the Terengganu state executive councillor in charge of Islam, told the state assembly that the proposed law would first be submitted to the state's legal adviser for scrutiny.

For PAS, the process is more important than whether it is actually able to implement the law.

This is because the government is aiming to show its constituents that PAS remains committed to establishing an Islamic state.

PAS leaders have said that it is a duty of every Muslim to support the implementation of hudud law.

Terengganu Mentri Besar [State Premier -- C.F.] Abdul Hadi Awang, who is PAS' deputy president, said the state wanted to introduce hudud law to show that it would be better than civil law.

Details of Terengganu's law were not immediately available, but it is likely to be similar to that which Kelantan had proposed.

In its case, punishable offences were theft, highway robbery, adultery, slanderous accusation of adultery, wine drinking and apostasy.

The punishments include amputation of the hand for theft, stoning for adultery, death for highway robbery, and flogging for wine-drinking and slanderous accusation.

Clause Five of Kelantan's hudud law says that for the first theft offence, a guilty person will have his right hand amputated. For the second offence, the punishment is amputation of part of the left foot.

The law also demands that there must be four male Muslim witnesses of just character to prove an accusation of adultery.

Critics of PAS have described the law as barbaric while the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party - PAS' partner in opposition coalition Barisan Alternatif - has called on the Islamic party to call off its plan to implement the law.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has also criticised PAS' version of hudud law, saying it would punish victims while letting criminals off with minimum punishment.

Legal experts have noted that the Kelantan hudud law required a rape victim to find four male witnesses to prove the charge against her attacker. Failing that, she could be charged with adultery and subjected to hudud punishment.

Copyright @ 2000 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

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