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Federal Court’s Decision on Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code: A Victory for Constitutional Principles and Equality

In response to recent statements regarding the Federal Court’s decision on the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code, we emphasise the significance of upholding constitutional principles and ensuring equality before the law in Malaysia.

The assertion made by YB Datuk Seri Takiyuddin bin Hassan, PAS secretary-general, characterising the ruling as “Black Friday” for Islamic Syariah law is misleading and detrimental to the nation. Such statements, particularly from legal professionals, propagate a narrative of religious exploitation for political gain.

The Federal Court’s commendable invalidation of 16 provisions within the 2019 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code, deemed unconstitutional, highlights the necessity of adherence to the Federal Constitution by state legislative assemblies. 

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat’s 8-1 majority decision reaffirms the universal application of laws, ensuring equality for all Malaysians, irrespective of religious or ethnic background.

Yesterday’s ruling signifies a triumph for Malaysia’s Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land, emphasising the principle of equal rule of law for all citizens. It is unacceptable for senior politicians to spread misleading statements; instead, their duty lies in uniting the people.

This case serves as a reminder of the dangers of instilling fear and mistrust within communities under the guise of religious freedoms. The issue at hand pertains to state legislators overstepping their jurisdiction, not a threat to Islamic principles.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat’s clarification stresses the court’s commitment to upholding the constitution, ensuring justice for all Malaysians. Additionally, she highlighted that the law being challenged was not determined or ordained by Allah, but by the State Legislature implemented by the Syariah Court.

Claims suggesting a threat to other states’ Syariah laws are unfounded; rather, the ruling highlights the necessity of respecting constitutional principles.

Moving forward, it is crucial for all parties to respect the Federal Court’s decision and refrain from politicising the matter. Efforts should focus on fostering unity and understanding among Malaysians, transcending religious and ethnic divides. It is imperative that individuals and groups refrain from spreading hate and inciting violence and must be reminded that any form of violence of threats constitutes a crime and undermines the fabric of our society. 

The Federal Court’s decision marks a significant milestone in Malaysia’s pursuit of justice and equality. It serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding constitutional principles and respecting the rule of law in building a fair and just society for all Malaysians.

As Malaysia navigates this pivotal moment, constructive dialogue and upholding the integrity of the legal system are imperative. Together, we can continue our progress towards a more just and equitable society for all citizens. 

Let us all celebrate this momentous day as the Federal Constitution stands strong! Contrary to YB Datuk Seri Takiyuddin’s “Black Friday” statement, this is indeed a Jalur Gemilang day! Let us not forget the very foundations our Nation was built on by our forefathers.