The Malaysian state run by a conservative Islamist party known as PAS, has passed a shocking new law that will allow public canings.
The law was approved in the state assembly of Kelantan.
The public canings are only the beginning. PAS is hoping to pass a bill that would get a system of laws called ‘hudud.’ These laws would legalize punishments such as stoning for adultery and amputations for theft.
The new caning law may apply to crimes such as adultery, but a clear list of punishable offenses has not been released.
According to local news, Kelantan deputy chief minister Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the law was passed to streamline sentencing under Islamic criminal law. “Caning can now be carried out inside or outside of prison, depending on the court’s decision,” Abdullah said. “This is in line with the religion, which requires that sentencing must be done in public.”
Islamists continue to strive for stringent interpretations of sharia law in the country. With over 60 percent of Malaysia’s 32 million people considered Muslim, concerns have been voiced that the laws may be an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of religious minorities, such as the Chinese, Indians and others.
Ti Lian Ker, a member of the Malaysian Chinese Association, is one of those voices. He says canings are unconstitutional under federal criminal law. “This is a rewriting of our legal system and spells a bleak future for the nation,” Lian Ker said.
In the event you are unfamiliar with caning, we offer you this video. WARNING: the following video is graphic.
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