Ex-CJ claims Muslims happy for hudud, not equality

Former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim speaks at a special lecture on Islam as the law of the land at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, March 25, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 -- A controversial former chief justice claimed today that Muslims are happy to comply with the controversial Islamic penal law of hudud if it is implemented.

Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim suggested that Muslims do not care about equality, even when hudud is said to result in an unequal punishments for crimes committed by Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Even if you implement hudud in a conservative way, it can only affect Muslims,” Ahmad Fairuz said in a lecture on “Islam as the law of the land” here.

“A statement by Gerakan says no one person should be treated differently, but I say, Muslims are not asking for equality, they're happy to follow their religion. To have hudud,” he added.

The lecture today was co-organised by the Malaysian Lawyers Circle, Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association, Concerned Lawyers for Justice, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s legal arm iPeguam, and the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy.

However, Ahmad Fairuz pointed out that one must consider many aspects before implementing or executing hudud laws, such as the punishment to maim a criminal.

“Some people believe you must literally follow the Quran, but the Caliphs have previously shown that there is room to interpret it.

“There are many instances which needs to be considered. For example, say someone has this mental issue to keep stealing, would you cut his hands off?” he asked, adding that these questions need to be resolved by Muslims, instead of non-Muslims.

In 2007, Ahmad Fairuz had once proposed that the English Common Law be replaced by Shariah laws, comparing it to Sections 3 and 5 of the Civil Law Act that permit judges to import English Common Law to fill in the country’s judiciary gaps.

In September that year, Ahmad Fairuz was implicated in the V. K. Lingam video scandal. He retired two months later and was succeeded by Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad.