ON ABOLISHING OF ENGLISH COMMON LAW

“It makes me feel very proud to be a Malaysia when I read with gratefulness the press release of Bishop Doctor Paul Tan as Christian discipleship in this nation requires a prophetic stance that defends the Sacredness and Supremacy of the Federal Constitutional that promotes the fundamental liberty of ALL MALAYSIANS based on the common law. Over the recent years, many Malaysians have seen how unjust has been the implementation of the syariah law in relation to those who opted to exercise their fundamental human liberty and right to the freedom of religion.”                                                                                                           

Jojo M. Fung, SJ                                                                                                       September 18, 2007.  Arrupe House, JB.

The Press Statement reads:  

“The Chief Judge was reported in Utusan Malaysia of August 23, 2007 and the Star on August 22, 2007 as having advocated the abolishment of the use of English common law to fill lacunas in Malaysian laws and replacing it with syariah law and he was also reported to have been supported by the Attorney General and the YB minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Abdullah Zin.  Religious laws of one faith should not be imposed on persons who are not of that faith and therefore syariah laws should not be imposed on non-Muslims. Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural society and all Malaysian’s religious traditions preach justice, equality and mutual respect.  The judges in the Federal Court case of Latifah had requested the Legislature to address the question of the jurisdictions of the Civil Courts and the Syariah Courts. It is therefore most inappropriate for the two top officers of our nation’s judicial system and for the said Minister to now advocate the adoption of syariah law principls into the common law system of our nation. Just when we are about to celebrate our 50th anniversary of independence, it is imperative that Malaysians be assured that those in the position to administer justice have been fair, want to be fair and will always be fair.”  

Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing, SJ

Chairman, Christian Federation of Malaysia 27th August, 2007.  

(See Herald, September 16, 2007:1)

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