PETALING JAYA: The integrity of the Criminal Procedure Code is at stake if the federal government continues to allow the Terengganu Syariah Court sentence women to caning in public, said Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie.
In a statement released on Friday (Oct 12), Heng said according to the CPC, women must never ever be caned as a punishment.
"Publicly flogging a lady is not only a deeply vicious act against humanity, it is also in clear violation of the Federal Constitution," Heng said.
With such sentencing, she added, the Terengganu Syariah Court was openly challenging the Federal Constitution and Criminal Procedure Code.
She added that the Federal and state governments, as well as the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and human rights organisations were obligated to stop such acts.
"I feel so disappointed with both Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her deputy Hannah Yeoh's perpetual disregard for this issue," Heng said.
She added that the ministry was failing to protect women from Terengganu's brand of justice and violating women's rights.
Issues such as child marriage and public caning of women were routinely brushed aside, or addressed with a perfunctory statement to the media, the Wanita chief said.
"All pragmatic actions are alarmingly missing, and any move to draft correspondent policies would be transparent to the eyes of the rest of the world," Heng said.
She also reiterated female Muslim non-governmental organisation Sisters in Islam's (SIS) stance that public caning had zero educational effect, was centred on humiliation and disregarded human rights.
"On the other hand, it may instil misunderstanding and fear towards Islam, thus jeopardise the image of the holy religion," Heng said.