CFM Hudud Fact Sheet on Amendment to Act 355

While the proposed amendments does not mention the word “hudud” nevertheless, the far-reaching provisions would permit the introduction of hudud law and hudud-prescribed punishments in Malaysia

Excepts from CFM Fact Sheet on Hudud Amendmenet Act 355:

7. The current proposed amendments deal only with the increase in the existing punishments. It is proposed that the current maximum sentences of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years, a fine not exceeding RM 5,000, or not more than 6 strokes of the cane, or a combination thereof, be increased to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 years, a fine not exceeding RM100,000, or not more than 100 strokes of the cane, or a combination thereof.

8. “It is clear that while the proposed amendments to Act 355 again do not mention the word “hudud”, the fact is that the increase in the maximum punishments will allow for hudud-compliant punishments to be meted out. The proposed increase in the maximum penalties under the proposed amendments to Act 355 will allow several hudud punishments to be implemented directly, and for other hudud and non-hudud punishments to be indirectly achieved.”

13. Additionally, a jail sentence of the maximum 30 years is greater than many of the punishments under the Penal Code. Under the Penal Code, a jail sentence of up to 30 years is imposed on those convicted of terrorist-related offences, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, for kidnapping and for hostage-taking. In countries where the death penalty is no longer applied, a sentence of 30 years in jail is seen as the equivalent of a death sentence. If implemented, the hudud-prescribed punishment for the hudud offence of apostasy would now be possible in principle.

19. The maximum limits of a jail sentence and caning punishments under the proposed amendments exceed most punishments that currently exist under the Penal Code. When the focus was on the “inequality” that non-Muslims could not be prosecuted in the Syariah court (even in 1965), there were already calls for the law to apply equally to both Muslims and non-Muslims. Now that some of the punishments will exceed some of those under the Penal Code, there will be even greater calls in this regard

21. An amendment such as those proposed to Act 355 have such grave consequences affecting the fundamental principles of justice, freedoms and rights of all Malaysians. As such, they must be thoroughly and responsibly discussed openly and honestly. This has not happened



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