KUALA LUMPUR: A former Appeals Court judge has called on all Malaysians to defend the country’s status as a secular nation as aspired by Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Mohd Hishamudin Yunus, who retired in 2015 after serving the bench for 24 years, said the status had been agreed to in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and stipulated in the Federal Constitution, and therefore must be respected by all.
“Freedom to practise religion was guaranteed during the negotiations to establish Malaysia.
“The issue of hudud (Islamic criminal punishment) never cropped up,” he was quoted as saying by The Star Online today.
“If it did then, certainly the proposal would have been overruled by the people of North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak,” he said at a forum organised by Sisters in Islam yesterday.
Referring to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s motion in the Dewan Rakyat on April 6 to bring about intensified shariah punishments through amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), he said the move was not suitable and will not be accepted by most Malaysians. Continue reading