I WAS present at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya on the morning of Feb 9, 2024, listening as Malaysia's Chief Justice, Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, read the concise and comprehensive summary of the majority judgement in the petition challenging the constitutionality and legality of 18 provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (1) 2019. From the very beginning of the ruling, Tengku Maimun emphasised the Federal Court's commitment to upholding the Constitution and ensuring justice for all Malaysians, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.
Ever since they embarked on this journey in 2022, there has been a lot at stake for petitioners Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter Yasmin, who are both lawyers. Their lives have been significantly disrupted, and their personal safety was and continues to be a concern. They decided to do what they did not only because they were concerned about constitutional integrity, but also as a matter of public interest that could potentially affect many who live in this country. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Malaysian people owe these two courageous women – who have been unfairly labelled by some as busybodies – a debt of gratitude for submitting this petition.