14 October 2011

Hudud and Syariah Compliant Penal Code in Brunei

"siapakah KITA untuk berkata TIDAK atau TUNGGU DULU untuk melaksanakan Undang-Undang SYARIAH di hadapan ALLAH?"...

'Secular laws failed to deter crime'

Thursday, October 13, 2011
MODERN secular laws have failed to decrease the crime rate in the Sultanate and alternative Islamic punishments, such as the severing of hands for theft, have proven to be an effective deterrent in Muslim countries, said the former Minister of Religious Affairs yesterday.

Citing Royal Brunei Police Force statistics, Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz HjMohd Zain Hj Serudin said theft cases have risen 46 per cent in the past year, with 1,650 cases recorded in 2010. Only 237 arrests were made in connection with these crimes, with 194 men and 43 women detained.

The former minister said western countries have promoted the use of modern laws but their crime rate has steadily increased from year to year, with many criminals returning to crime once they are released from prison.

"These man-made laws have failed to (elicit) remorse among prisoners... This clearly shows that no matter how sophisticated the law, they are not effective in tackling crime," he said during the first day of an international seminar on implementing Islamic law in the BRIDEX Hall in Jerudong.

Presenting his working paper titled "Problems faced in the implementation and understanding of Islamic law", Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Mohd Zain cited Saudi Arabia as a country that has successfully implementedSyariah law, including corporal punishment for theft offences.

"The government of Saudi Arabia has achieved stable peace since implementing Islamic law. Theft has stopped and robbery paralysed," he said. "It is noted that only 16 hands have been cut off in the 24 years since the law was implemented there."

In his paper, the former minister outlined the punishment for theft, called sariqah under Syariah law, in the Malaysian state of Terengganu. The penalty for a first offence is the severing of the right hand; for a second offence, severing of the left foot; and for a third offence, it is up to the court to determine a jail term to make the offender "realise and regret what he has done".

However, not all theft offences can be punished with the amputation of hands, commented the ChiefSyarie Judge, and there are exceptions prescribed in Islamic law for such circumstances.

"For example, if someone steals to feed the hungry or if a theft is committed from a place where valuables are not secured, such as unlocked car, then severing of the hands cannot be the penalty," said Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Yahya Hj Ibrahim during an interview.

"In my opinion, many of the amputation sentences would not be carried out. It is only the last resort."

Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Yahya said a number of criteria must be fulfilled before such a drastic sentence can be handed down on an offender.

"There must be witnesses, and the case must be examined to ensure it does not fall under any of the circumstances where amputation is excepted," he said. The Brunei Times