Lawyer seeks to invalidate hudud laws


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 22 Oct 2003

At the Dewan RakyatReports by DALILAH IBRAHIM and IZATUN SHARI

KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer has filed an application for leave to declare null and void Terengganu's hudud laws, which is due to be gazetted by the state on Monday.  

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who is Kelantan Umno liaison committee deputy chief, filed the application at the Federal Court registry yesterday, naming Terengganu as the respondent. 

Zaid, in his affidavit, alleged the enactment that the state intended to gazette and enforce – the Syariah Criminal Offence (Hudud and Qisas) Terengganu Enactment 1423H/ 2002M passed by the Terengganu State Legistative Assembly – was unconstitutional.  

The affidavit stated that Sections 4 to 41 of the enactment, which included criminal provisions such as theft, robbery, criminal conspiracy, rape and manslaughter, were contrary to Article 74 and other provisions of the Federal Constitution. 

Zaid, who was president of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia from 1988 to 1992, is seeking a declaration under Article 4 (4) of the Constitution to rule the enactment null and void. 

During a press conference at Menara Milenium, Zaid told reporters that Terengganu has no power to enact hudud laws, arguing that offences punishable under the enactment were already punishable under federal law.  

“This is a direct challenge to the constitutional framework of our country,” he said. 

“As a citizen of Malaysia, I have a right to oppose any party that drafts laws going against the Constitution.” 

 

Last year, Zaid filed a petition against Kelantan to challenge the state's 1993 Syariah Enactment. The suit is pending in the Federal Court. 

 

At that time, he applied for leave to file a petition against Terengganu on its then proposed hudud laws, but withdrew it later on grounds that the application was premature.  

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