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Haniff Khatri: Any Law that Does not Contradict Islam is Constitutional


KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Haniff Khatri said, that he agreed with Tun Ahmad Fairuz’s view regarding Syariah’s position in the Constitution in a speech that was delivered in a special lecture titled “Islam as the Law of the Land”. The event was organised by Malaysian Lawyers Circle, Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia (PPMM), Concerned Lawyers for Justice (CLJ), iPeguam, and Centre For Human Rights Research And Advocacy (CENTHRA) on March 25th 2017 at Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

According to Haniff Khatri, “In relation to the incorporation of Islamic jurisprudence, once it is incorporated into our common law, it can not be said to be 2nd most supreme. It is equally supreme because the recognition comes from the same Constitution.”

Haniff Khatri added further that Civil Law Act 1956 sections 3 & 5 put a cut-off date for the importation of English Common Law principles until 1956. This according to him, was to allow the evolution of the Malaysian Common Law based on the needs of the local society.

“Hence, with the recognition of the position of Islam as the religion of Federation under Article 3 of Constitution, ex-Chief of Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz was very much correct to state that Islamic jurisprudence must constitutionally be incorporated as Malaysian Common Law,” added Haniff.

“This view was also proposed very much earlier by former Chief of Justice, Tun Abdul Hamid Omar in early 1990s, where he said, Malaysia should have its own common law adopting to the needs of our own society,” he emphasised.

Commenting on Gopal Sri Ram’s argument in reference to the 1988 Supreme Court case of Che Omar bin Che Soh in order to object Tun Ahmad Fairuz’s point of view, Haniff Khatri said that Tun Saleh Abbas actually never declared that the Federal Constitution is a secular constitution. That case which dealt was charged under Dangerous Drugs Act and Firearms Act only stated that those Acts of Parliament are secular, that’s all.

“A secular law that does not contradict any specific Islamic jurisprudence is constitutionally valid”, said Haniff.

Earlier, Lukman Sheriff Alias, a lawyer from Malaysian Lawyers Circle condemned Free Malaysia Today and Malay Mail Online newspapers for their inherently perverted and malicious reporting on the points made by Tun Ahmad Fairuz in the same lecture.

Lukman Sheriff also commented that “FMT and Malay Mail simply don’t want to accept this fact and publish it as in this case. I told them you will only create unnecessary clash. Their agenda to create a siege reporting through bias reporting continues.”