Kelantan (Malaysia), July 17: Taking a strict action for the crimes against sharia law, a state of Malaysia has amended its laws to allow public canings. The amendment was passed by the assembly of Kelantan. Kelantan a state of Malaysia is governed by a conservative Islamic party.
The amendment was passed to more closely align the state’s policies with Islamic criminal law, quoted Kelantan deputy chief minister Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah. He said, “Caning can now be carried out inside or outside of prison, depending on the court’s decision”.
Critics have called the move unconstitutional, with one politician saying it indicates a ‘bleak future’ for the country.
Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah stated, “This is in line with the religion, which requires that punishing must be done in public”. But he refused of maintaining about exactly what kind of offences are punishable with caning, although it was assumed that the amendment applies to sharia crimes.
Even though the Islamic law is observed all over the other Malaysian states, it is not applicable in the family issues such as divorce and tradition along with the sharia crimes involving Muslims and the consumption of alcohol and adultery, while the criminal cases are handled by federal law.
The Kelantan state assembly’s decision wasn’t any big shock as the state has been pushing to adopt a strict Islamic penal code called ‘hudud,’ which would allow adultery to be punished by stoning and thievery by amputation.
The state governed by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party also known as PAS has also banned nightclubs and cinemas.
The amendment comes just one month after Malaysia's Health Ministry made headlines for holding a contest soliciting videos which explained the consequences of ‘homosexuality’ and ‘gender confusion’, promising a cash award of up to US$1,000.
Homosexuality is forbidden in Malaysia and those going against the law have to face beating and jail up to 20 years.
Although the Malaysian state of Kelantan isn't the only government in the region to advocate for caning, or against homosexuality as in May, two gay men were publicly caned in Indonesia’s most conservative province in Aceh, which has the authority to enforce sharia law alongside the national criminal code.