Islamic Law in Malaysia: Issues and Developments

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Islamic Law in Malaysia: Issues and Developments

in Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law Online


1 Ahmad bin Mohamed Ibrahim, "Justice in the shari{a court", in Aidit Ghazali (ed.), Islam and Justice, Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 1993, p. 92. 2 Article 160(2)(b) of the Constitution provides: "Law includes written law, the common law in so far as it is in operation in the Federation or any part thereof, or any custom or usage having the force of law in the Federation or any part thereof." 3 Federal Constitution, Art. 76(3). 4 Hamid Jusoh, The Position of Islamic Law in the Malaysian Constitution, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur, 1993, p. 63.

5 Sisters in Islam, letter to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad in thirteen pages, dated 8 August 1997, p. 9. This unpublished letter bears ten names of Sisters in Islam. I would like to thank Zainah Anwar, one of the ten signatories, for providing me with a copy. 6 Abdul Aziz Bari, "Beauty contests and the Syariah laws", The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, 27 July 1997, p. 12. See for details Ahmad Ibrahim, "The position of Islam in the Constitution of Malaysia", in Ahmad Ibrahim (ed.), Readings on Islam in SoutheastAsia, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 1986, p. 218.

8 [1969] 1 MLJ 110. 9 [1970] 1 MLJ 220.

10 Ibid., p. 227. 11 Ibrahim, "'I'he position of Islam", at p. 218. lz I.e. the High Courts and Subordinate Courts. 13 The Constitution (Amendment) Act 1988 (Aa A 704). 14 Ahmad Ibrahim, "The introduction of Islamic values in the Malaysian legal dystem", IKIM Journal, 2 (1), 1994, Kuala Lumpur, p. 41.

lsMohamed Habibullahv.Faridah [1992] 2 MLJ 793 at p. 803. 16 Syed Hamid Albar, "The Syari`a and Syariah courts in Malaysia", in Abdul Munir Yaacob (ed.), Undang- Undang Keterangan diMahkamah, Institute Kefahaman Islam Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 1995, p. 34. 17 S. 23, Islamic Family (Federal Territories) Act 1984 (Act 303) published by International Law Book Services, Kuala Lumpur, 1987. 's Ibid., s. 23(5). 19 Ibid., s. 23(4) (a).

20 A total of thirty-nine amendments and new additions were introduced as a result of coming into force of the IFL (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Act 1994.

zi Sisters in Islam, "Ideal state of marriage in Islam", The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 22 October 1996, p. 19.

zz Unpublished five-page letter (and seven pages enclosure) entitled "Memorandum on reform of the Islamic family laws on polygamy submitted to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad", 11 December 1996, p. 3. za Ibid. z4 Ibid., p. 6. zs �1990] 3 MLJ ix.

zb Circular 1/91 of the chief gadi, Eng. trans. appears in Nik Noriani Nik Badli Shah, "Controversial areas in the law relating to marriage and divorce in modern times: possible reforms within Islamic framework", Master of Comparative Law Dissertation 1996/97, International Islamic University, Malaysia, p. 88. 27 Ibid. zs Sisters in Islam et al. "Memorandum on reform", pp. 9-11. z9 Federal Constitution 1957 (Art. 76(1)(b)).

30 Ahmad Ibrahim, "Justice in theshari'a court", p. 101. 31 Ibid.

3z National Council for Women's Organizations et al., "Memorandum on reform of the Islamic family laws and the administration of justice in the Syariah system in Malaysia". Formulated and approved at the National Workshop on Reform of Islamic Family Laws and the Administration of Justice in the Syariah System in Malaysia on 4 January 1997, p. 4. 33 Ibid. 34 Ibid., p. 5. as Ibid. 36 � [1992] 2 MLJ 793.

37 "Memorandum on reform of Islamic family law", p. 8. 38 Ibid. 39 Cf. s. 44 of the IFL Enactment of Kelantan 1983. 4o Cf. Nik Noriani, "Controversial areas", p. 149.

41 "Memorandum on reform of Islamic family law", p. 4.

'2 Cf. Sisters in Islam's letter to the Prime Minister, p. 1.

43 For details on siyasah shar`iyyah see M.H. Kamali, "Siyasah Shar'iyyah or the policies of Islamic government", The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 6, 1989, pp. 59-81.

z Sisters in Islam's Letter to the Prime Minister, p. 6. 4s Ibid., p. 7. 'M Actual plans for the introduction of this Bill were announced by the state government earlier in 1991 and the debate over it also started at that time.

4� Cf. Rose Isma'il (ed.), Hudud in Malaysia: Tbe Issues at Stake, SIS Foruin (Malaysia) Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, 1995, pp. 51-52. 48 Razaleigh Hamzah, opening speech to the Semangat 46 Seminar of 17 October 1993, in ibid., p. 57.

49 Quoted in M.H. Kamali, Punishment in Islamic Law: An Enquiry into the Hudud Bill ofKelantan, Institute for Policy Research, Kuala Lumpur, 1995, p. 8. A summary of this book is due to appear inArab Law Quarterly (London) (forthcoming). 50 Ibid., p. 8. sl Razaleigh Hamzah's speech quoted, in Ismail, Hudud in Malaysia, p. 59. s2 Ibid., p. 58. 53 Dr Mahathir's Speech, "We will not allow PAS to commit cruel acts", New Straits Times, 10 September 1994, pp. 1-2.

s4 Anwar Ibrahim, TheAsian Renaissance, Time Books International, Singapore, 1996, p. 114. 55 Ibid., p. 119. sb For more details see Kamali, Punishment in Islamic Lam: An Enquiry into the Hudud Bill of Kelantan. 57 R. Mageswary, "Two young people from two different religions met and fell in love with tragic consequences", Sun Magazine Special, Kuala Lumpur, 16 April 1998, p. 6.

58Ibid., p. 8. s9 Mazlan Nordin, "Things that people do in the name of religion", New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 5 June 1998, p. 12.

60 For details see the chapter on blasphemy in M.H. Kamali, Freedom of Expression in Islam, The Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1997, pp. 212-250. 61 [1989] 1 MLJ 369, 418.

62TheSun, Kuala Lumpur, 25 July 1997, p. 27. 63 Ibid. 64 Sun, Kuala Lumpur, 11 July 1997, p. 11. Report and comment by A. Ghani Ismail. 65 Ibid. � Aziz Hassan, "Syariah laws: forcing or enforcing?" The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, 25 July 1997, p. 20. 67 The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, 6 July 1997, p. 5.

bsTheStar, Kuala Lumpur, 23 July 1997, p. 8. 69 The Star, 22 July 1997, s. 2, p. 17. 70 Sisters in Islam, "Modesty according to the Qur'an", New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 9 August 1997, p. 11. 71 Ibid. 'z Abdul Aziz Bari, "Beauty contests and the syariah laws", The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, 27 July 1997, p. 12.

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