YAN: Public caning for syariah offences in Kelantan must not be condemned because it is not new to the country, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
“Do not make it an issue. Public caning under syariah laws has already been carried out outside the prison like in Tawau,” Bernama quoted the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department as saying.
“Many people do not understand that the sentence is based on syariah law and affects only Muslims,” he told reporters after opening the Jerai Umno youth division conference near here yesterday.
On Wednesday, the Kelantan state assembly passed the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 (Amendment 2017) Bill, which among others, allows public caning.
Jamil Khir said caning done within prisons were also considered public because the term in Islam referred to more than two people.
“In prison, there are already more than two people, including the doctor who has come to observe, the religious officer, the accompanying officers as well as others,” he said.
In Kuantan, Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman said if public caning were to be imposed in the state, the state authorities should ensure that the punishment is complied with the Federal Constitution and all existing provisions and laws.
He said the new provision in the Pahang Islamic enactment on public caning should not contradict current laws and the Federal Constitution.
“Then, we have to get permission from the state Islamic religious council and it also has to go through the state assembly.
“The state authorities must also seek the consent of the Sultan or the Regent for the new legislation to be implemented.
“Furthermore, we have to see if the situation allows it,” he said in an interview.
Caning is already a punishment for several offences under Pahang’s Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 2013.
Muslims in the state found to have committed offences, such as wrongful worship, having sexual intercourse out of wedlock and consuming intoxicating drinks are liable to whipping not exceeding six strokes of the cane.