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Saturday, 29 August 2009

To Cane or Not To Cane- that is the question now.

Obviously when I wrote an essay titled Philistines and Pharisees, many people forgot and made light of my experience as an ex ADUN in Pahang. During that term I was able to see first hand how government departments function. That included the operations of religious authorities. Accordingly, I know their capacities and limitations. There are very good and righteous people there. But very often, their enthusiasm in carrying their duties is a case of the sprit willing, the body isn't.

Their limitations include the political and social and cultural contexts within which they operate. So I say once again, I do not make light when I speak of religion from a certain aspect of which I am familiar with (the implementation and action). Saya faham akan keterbatasan persekitaran dan linkungan dalam mana institusi perlaksanaan agama Islam beroperasi. Maka saya menyeru, apabila kita membuat teguran jangan lah segera naik angin dan menuduh kita yang mempunyai pandangan berbeza memusushi Islam.

When I wrote my first essay on this issue, it produced many very agitated comments. Ini biasa- those who feel they are a little bit more religious will judge others as less accomplished. One day, I may want to share my experience moving among the faithful when I served as information chief to the PM a few years back when I brought the practice of Ratib Haddad into mosques and musallas in Pekan. If I were to be judgmental, I would be able to say, without exception, those I met to be very religious in their appearances were really paper tigers. Tapi ini bulan puasa, saya tak mahu cakap lah. Saya pun tak mahu di cap sebagai VS Naipaul.

There was even one who asked me not to comment on religious issue in this holy month of Ramadan. Yes sir, I understand the suggestive insinuations there. I am ready to admit my knowledge in these sublime matters of Islamic laws is meagre. Tapi jangan jadikan itu sebagai alasan tidak boleh bertarbiyah dengan hikmah yek? Elsewhere, most other commentators decried what they saw as my attempt in taking this issue lightly. I assure you I am not. I have responded so in my comments section.

If I were to write that essay using a fountain pen, the ink has not even dried up, when the Pahang religious authorities made a volte face. It was reported thus:-

Everything seemed set for her punishment when she was scheduled for caning on Monday at Kajang prison. But Pahang Religious Department officers made a literal U-turn after picking her up at her house and returned her 45 minutes later after stopping by the roadside for 40 minutes.


Ap sudah jadi? The convicted wants to be caned up and she was on the way to Kajang prison to be whipped when the above took place. The moral police got cold feet or what? Where has the holier than thou admonitions disappeared? I also noted that the caning was to be done in Kajang prison. We do not know whether these people in Kajang prison are trained in Islamic caning as prescribed by the laws of Pahang; I think it is safe for me to assume that the caning will be carried out by experienced buttock caners trained in the civil law punishments. If that is so, then the photographs which I included in my posting here are reflective of the type of caning that is going to be given.

But there is another thing I find disturbing. The offence took place in Pahang, sentence was passed in Pahang, but the punishment in Selangor? Apa hal? Pahang hasn't got anyone to cane people kah? As my learned blogging friend, dongtalk said, ini tak payah pakar. Kasi malu Pahang sahaja. Orang yang tak pakar pun takde kah? The procedures to be followed are as follows:-

Alat sebatan yang digunakan hendaklah diperbuat dari rotan atau ranting kecil pokok yang tiada ruas atau buku dan panjangnya tidak melebihi 1.22 meter dan tebalnya tidak melebihi 1.25 sentimeter. Kalau pesalah itu hamil, hukuman itu hendaklah dilaksanakan selepas 2 bulan dia melahirkan anaknya.
Pesalah hendaklah diperiksa tahap kesihatannya oleh Pegawai Kesihatan Kerajaan sebelum hukuman tersebut boleh dijalankan.
Hukuman sebat itu hendaklah dengan kehadiran Pegawai Perubatan Kerajaan.
Sebatan tidak boleh kena muka, kepala, perut, dada atau bahagian sulit.
Pesalah lelaki disebat berdiri manakala perempuan dalam keadaan duduk
Sebatan hendaklah dijalankan dengan kekuatan sederhana iaitu tukang sebat itu tanpa mengangkat tangannya melebihi kepala supaya tidak melukakan kulit pesalah. Jika semasa perlaksanaan hukuman sebab itu Pegawai Perubatan Kerajaan memperakui bahawa pesalah itu tidak lagi dapat menerima sebatan, sebatan itu hendaklah ditangguhkan sehingga Pegawai Perubatan Kerajaan itu memperakukan bahawa pesalah itu sihat tubuh badannya untuk menjalani baki sebatan yang tinggal.
Selepas mengenakan satu sebatan, tukang sebat hendaklah mengangkat alat sebatan itu ke atas dan tidak menariknya.Semasa disebat, pesalah hendaklah memakai pakaian menurut Hukum Syarak.

The way the procedures are put, make them very meticulous and it will require the presence of very learned men to supervise the caning. Certainly the procedures described above are the product of meticulous, refined and sublime thinking. I fully agree they are NOT the product of barbaric slush and sloshing of the mind.

Only that I asked whether they will have the resolve to carry out this form of punishment once it becomes precedent. If the shariah judge hasn't applied his thinking cap on this aspect before sentencing, he must do the honourable thing- resign. How can I get justice from a judge who is flip flopping? Now I know, why my religious grandfather (God Bless his soul) taught us that di akhirat, mereka yang masuk neraka dahulu ialah ulamak terutama ulamak yang kerja dengan keajaan.

So I am asking the shariah judge whether he has the spiritual resolve to stick to his guns and insist that the lashings must take place against a moral turpitude such as drinking beer. .

7 comments:

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 13:56  

Caiaphas, the chairman of the Pharisees said that it was better for one man to die, i.e. for Jesus Christ to be cruxified, than for the whole nation to be condemned.

Now it is better to cane Kartika to cover up the sins of the others.

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 14:02  

It will be nice to see your take on the "cow head" protest. I am quite sure either they were instigated to give a bad name to PR or plain stupid and brainless morons. 1Malaysia is Truly Asia at its best....

Surind Raj 29 August 2009 at 14:32  

Really? & I wonder what people think about this.

"The Koran contains contradictory statements like other religious books, but the Koran itself provides the reader with a way to know what to do with contradictions. In the Koran, it says if you have two passages that contradict each other, the one written later supersedes the one written earlier. A passage written later abrogates (makes null and void) passages written earlier that contradict it. It says so right there in the Koran. Most westerners don't know this. And they are unaware that the peaceful, tolerant passages were written early in Mohammad's prophetic career. According to the Koran, those passages have been overwritten by later, more violent, less tolerant passages." (continue reading):
http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2007/10/message-to-peaceful-muslims.html

& about this?:
http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2009/05/terrifying-brilliance-of-islam.html

donplaypuks® 29 August 2009 at 16:11  

Justice must be tempered with mercy.

Where is the quality of mercy fromm the judges in dealing with a first time offender, and at that a lady, for an infringement that is personal and does not involve a huge billion $ fraud, robbery, assault, rape, incest or murder?

This caning must be stopped It must not take place as it will further tarnish internationally Malaysia's reputation as a democratic and laissez faire country!!

dpp
We are all of 1 race, the Human Rcae

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 17:03  

As for the controversy surrounding the caning sentence on Kartika, many miss the point,
It is also necessary to evolve proper approach as regards the punishments for crimes like theft, adultery etc. Yes the Quran mentions cutting off hands of thieves but the fundamental question is what is intended: prevention of theft or punishment ? Obviously prevention of theft. Can it not be prevented by other means ? Punishments are instruments of prevention of crime and not a goal unto themselves. Could she not (seeing that she has obviously repented) be fined and given counselling ?



Islam should evolve with the times through Ijtihad

Ijtihad is an accepted concept in Islam. No one, not even most orthodox can deny its legitimacy.
There is a hadith of the Prophet approving ijtihad which says that if one does ijtihad and makes a mistake he will have one reward
and if he does it correctly he will get double reward.A Canadian Muslim friend highlighted this to me though I cannot remember the exact hadith.
Such is the importance of Ijtihad that you are not only forgiven for trying and getting it wrong but rewarded for trying.
The way I see it the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had the wisdom to see that if Islam did not evolve it would perish.
It was the later generations of Ulama who while accepting the principle of ijtihad in theory de-emphasised it in practice.
They evolved the concept of taqlid (unthinking imitation) in its place though they cannot quote any hadith from the Prophet in its favour.

Taqlid, has stagnanted Islamic societies and became a widely accepted principle, as pointed by many scholars.
Hopefully Islamic societies that are experiencing fundamental social changes will rethink these issues.



Vijay Kumar Murugavell

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 17:39  

If Kathika is to be cane..I wonder who will be next... I would be appropriate to start the queue with those more prominent in society and should be responsible for setting a good example..... No need to mention names , but if you live in the larger cities like KL or Singapore, you will know who they are...

Surind Raj 31 August 2009 at 23:09  

[Linkback]

List of Malaysian Bloggers that Might be Pandering/Grovelling to Extremists/Fundamentalists/Zealots

http://surind.blogspot.com/2009/09/list-of-malaysian-bloggers-that-might.html

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