Review Syariah Criminal Offences laws in Malaysia

By: G25 Malaysia

Affiliations: G25 Malaysia

Policy Code: 1B Religious Harmony


Problem Statement:

There are many areas of conflicts and overlaps between the Federal Constitution and Federal laws on the one hand, and State syariah laws on the other hand. In particular, there is an urgent need to review the State Syariah Criminal Offences (SCO) laws of Malaysia. These State laws which turn all manner of “personal sins” into crimes against the state have led to discrimination (against Muslims), confusion and dispute in both substance and implementation. They are also in conflict with Islamic legal principles. They and constitute a violation of fundamental liberties, human rights and state intrusion into the private lives of citizens.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

The public outrage, debates over issues of jurisdiction, judicial challenge, accusations of abuses committed, gender discrimination, and deaths and injuries caused in moral policing raids have eroded the credibility of the SCO laws, the law-making process, and public confidence that Islamic law could indeed bring about justice.

Proposal of Solution:

The Government needs to assert leadership and to appoint key leaders who will, in all fairness, champion tolerance, moderation, open and coherent engagements and discourse on the administration of Islamic laws in this country; and to ensure that justice is done to all segments of society. There is also the need for a review to ensure that the SCO laws are in accord with the Federal Constitution and human rights.

Additional Information: