The Terengganu assembly today passed the Shariah Criminal Offences (Takzir)(Amendment) Enactment 2022 which, among other things, includes Section 3A involving witchcraft and sorcery activities.
State Shariah Implementation, Education and Higher Education Committee chairman Datuk Satiful Bahari Mamat said the amendment also involved Section 33A (women acting like men), Section 36A (preparation for sodomy), and Section 29A (pregnant or giving birth to a child out of wedlock).
“We are trying to make use of the opportunity by maximising the punishment based on Section 356, namely a three-year jail term, a fine of RM5,000 and six lashes.
“With this amendment, we hope that the well-being of Muslims, especially in Terengganu, will be better protected,” he told reporters after the state assembly session at Wisma Darul Iman, here today.
On the witchcraft and sorcery-related section, Satiful Bahari said a special committee had been established under the Terengganu Religious Affairs Department to monitor the matter and ensure that the state’s Muslim community did not seek alternative treatments that conflicted with Islamic law.
He elaborated that the punishment would only be meted out on individuals who provide such treatments, and not the patients.
The section on women acting like men, he said, was needed because the existing legal provisions only involved men acting like women.
“In the past, there might not have been much of this issue (women acting like men). Now, however, we see that ‘pengkid’ (tomboys or lesbians) and similar cases are becoming more widespread. So, the state government intends to curb this issue,” he said.
In addition to the four sections’ inclusion, he said today’s amendment also involved 21 existing sections and would come into force after receiving Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin’ consent.
Historical records show that hundreds of years ago, before other countries got rid of the sorts of primitive laws that the bright boys of Terengganu have just decided to re-introduce, the most awful acts were committed on the excuse of countering these same phantom crimes of ‘witchcraft’, ‘heresy’ and ‘deviancy’ all in the name of religion.
Women (since this is about gender abuse) were drowned and burnt, often after being raped and tortured by ‘religious’ activists – the actual criminals in the case. Sadly and appallingly the world is watching the same sort of perversion in the name of God taking place in Iran today and likewise Afghanistan.
The introduction of these new phoney laws are an invitation for the same kind of abuse to develop in Terengganu as ‘religious’ police set about enforcing their new powers against women.
After all, the first problem with inventing ‘crimes’ around alleged ‘witchcraft’ and ‘deviancy’ is that such matters are entirely in the mind of the beholder rather than present as solid fact and so they are in reality merely a way for one segment of the population (men) to seek to exploit, bully, threaten and control another segment (women). The punishment being violence.
The entire exercise is utterly countrary to the rule of law as developed by modern civilisation. It is just an excuse to introduce an arbitrary, primitive exercise of authority for privileged individuals.
There is no need for such legislation since genuine crimes are long since outlawed. The practice of alleged sorcery, for example, is already dealt with under civil laws to the extant that if an unlicensed practitioner is seeking to administer harmful substances in the name of superstition to another person, then there are plenty of civil laws to control and punish such behaviour without endorsing the supernatural claims which have no basis in science nor indeed the Muslim religion.
So, why give credence to nonsense? Indeed, it is clear that by outlawing ‘witchcraft’ these buffoons are admitting they themselves believe in it, which is not only contrary to their religion but encourages others to assume it must exist as well – otherwise it could not be outlawed!
Likewise, what makes for a ‘tomboy’? Is this a girl who proves too forward by coming top in class perhaps? A girl who is energetic and likes to run and climb a tree? A girl who rejects a disappointed male even?
How do these men plan to define the female who should receive lashes on grounds of being a ‘tomboy’? Are they off to Afghanistan to ask the Taliban? One assumes so, unfortunately.
As for punishment for pregnancies out of wedlock. Will there be a DNA test so that the stronger of the two sinners can be identified and punished likewise?
This intrusive snooping into other people’s lives should not be legitimised in any society where there is a modern state and judiciary. This is village level governance that belongs to primitive times and primitive economies. It can bring no wealth and no prosperity (nor any moral uplift) to the folk of Terengganu.
The bullies from their newly funded mosques clearly have nothing more to offer in terms of ideas. Their training and life experiences do not extend beyond seeking to dominate the hard-working wives, sisters and daughters who make their homes and families, grow their food and do most of the work about the place. What do they do themselves save preach and procreate?
Without doubt civil crimes will be committed in the name of these contrived laws of oppression. They always are, and the victims will be the physically weaker sex whom these bullies seek to target.
Terengganu will be condemned throughout the world for its oppression of women and the rest of Malaysia is going to leave them well behind.
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