Siti Kasim: To me, those Islamist hooligans deserve the finger and more

Siti Kasim, the lawyer who led a civil suit to block the Bill from being tabled in the Dewan Rakyat, speaking at the Sinar forum on ‘Pindaan Akta 355 : Antara Realiti Dan Persepsi’ in Shah Alam, September 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Siti Kasim, the lawyer who led a civil suit to block the Bill from being tabled in the Dewan Rakyat, speaking at the Sinar forum on ‘Pindaan Akta 355 : Antara Realiti Dan Persepsi’ in Shah Alam, September 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Lawyer and activist Siti Kasim has justified showing the middle finger to her hecklers at a forum about PAS’ Shariah Bill, describing them as “Islamist hooligans” and “brainwashed morons”.

She said the audience at the forum on “Pindaan Akta 355: Antara Realiti Dan Persepsi” organised by the Karangkraf Group in Shah Alam Monday was full of “Islamists”, or Malays who thought they were trying to uphold God’s laws but who were unwilling to listen to anything else that went against their ideals.

“I have been to so many forums. I have asked hard hitting questions but never in my wildest dream that someday I will show a finger in a forum to the audience.

“I don’t regret it one bit. To me, those Islamists hooligans deserve the finger and more. Crass? Rude? Since when a woman cannot be crass and rude in the face of hooligans and brainwashed morons?” Siti wrote in a Facebook post yesterday.

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She also accused PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, who was one of the speakers at the forum about PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill that seeks to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), of misleading the audience in terms of the law.

“The speakers from PAS and Umno insisted it is not a HUDUD bill. Of course it is not a HUDUD Bill but it has everything to do with HUDUD. Without this amendment to the limit of punishment in the Shariah Courts, they wouldn’t be able to mete out the punishment already stated in their HUDUD ENACTMENT,” said Siti.

Hudud is an Islamic penal code that imposes punishments such as the amputation of limbs for theft and stoning for adultery.

Siti said the Bill seeks, via the introduction of a new Section 2A in Act 355, to remove the restriction on the range of punishments that shariah courts can impose, which are currently limited to three years’ jail, whipping not exceeding six strokes and fines below RM5,000.

She noted that death sentences cannot be imposed under the new Section 2A, but said the amendment appeared to confer shariah courts with “unlimited power” to impose other hudud punishments.

“Hudud offences include offences like zina (adultery), qazaf (false accusation of committing zina), syrub (alcohol consumption) and irtidad or riddah (apostasy) and according to the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment, punishment for these is whipping, ranging from 40 to 100 lashes.

“The Bill also seeks to substitute the existing Section 2 in Act 355 with a new section that appears to widen the scope of the Shariah Court’s existing criminal jurisdiction, which is currently limited to offences by Muslims against Islam,” Siti said.

PAS has insisted that Hadi’s private member’s Bill only aims to give the shariah courts stronger punitive powers to offences listed under Act 355, while Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom reportedly said last month that there was a need to strengthen the Islamic courts as most of the fines and jail sentences have purportedly failed to deter offenders. – Malay Mail Online

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