BANGI, Nov 10 – The decision by the Court of Appeal in declaring the enactment under the Negeri Sembilah Syariah law which prohibits Muslim men from dressing up and behaving like women as being unconstitutional has to be looked at as a whole. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in Islam, the process of meting out punishment must be done fairly.
He added in being fair, it is necessary to give a chance to the person being punished to state his or her stand and explain why he or she did it. “We know that in some cases, there are individuals we do not know their gender, meaning they make look like a man but behave like a woman. “That is why we need to take into account these aspects. I am not saying that I reject fatwa, but I hold on to the principles of justice.”
Tun Dr Mahathir said this to reporters after delivering the keynote address and officiating the International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities 2014 at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia here today. Meanwhile, on the matter pertaining to Sisters in Islam (SIS) being declared as illegal in Selangor based on a fatwa, he said SIS too should be called in to give its stand before it was “punished” as such.
He said a decision could not be made based on what was said in newspapers about a certain matter because that was being unfair. “I reiterate that in Islam, punishment handed out must be fair, and in being fair, we have to ask, research and study. “If all these have been done, then the person being punished must receive whatever punishment is handed out.”