KUALA LUMPUR: PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan slammed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's denouncement of the caning of two Muslim women for attempting same sex relations carried out by the Terengganu Syariah Court.
He was commenting on Dr Mahathir's statement yesterday that the government was of the opinion that public caning gave a bad impression of Islam.
"The government should support and respect the court's decision and not try to confuse the public by raising the facts that are not true, " Takiyuddin said.
"It should be noted that syariah caning penalties are a method of penalties permitted by Islamic Law involving Hudud or Takzir cases.
"In Takzir's judgment as in this case, the discretion lies with the syariah judge who judges the case from the facts and the law as well as the confession of the accused and mitigation factors," he said in a statement, here, today.
Commenting further, Takiyuddin said that as long as the sentence was carried out within the scope of the law, among others, the punishment was not only legal but also fulfilled humanitarian and democratic pursuits after going through a legitimate, transparent and open process.
"In this case, it is clear that the Court punished within the scope of law of not more than six strokes as provided in Section 2 of the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) which passed its amendments in 1984 and applies in all Syariah Courts nationwide," he said.
Takiyuddin added that laws, enforcement and courts, among others, play a role in prescribing and preserving certain moral values and measures to be followed, be it by individuals or the community collectively as a common standard, especially in the public arena.
He said although Syariah Law and its enforcement were under the jurisdiction of the State Government, it did not make its interest and credibility lower than the law and enforcement under the jurisdiction of the Central Government.
"It should be respected in its own field and scope as part of our country's life," he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd