|The following report is filed by Malaysiakini.|
Here are more caring voices of concerned organizations and individuals:
Lina Joy’s judgment troubles many
|May 31, 07 6:51pm|
Voices of concern are getting louder over Lina Joy’s judgment that was delivered yesterday.
The judgment which affirmed that she has to go to the Syariah Court to be affirmed as an apostate has resulted in groups questioning its repercussions and impact on society.
Here are some of them:
Centre for Public Policy Studies, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute
The Federal Court decision does not seem to uphold fundamental rights that should be unequivocally provided for all citizens. It also goes against the grain of Islam Hadhari, one of its principles being to uphold a “free and liberated people”, a developmental policy by the government.
The judiciary is given the responsibility and duty of protecting fundamental liberties of all citizens, equal under the law. The CPPS calls on the judiciary to reclaim its role of defending the Federal Constitution.
The strong dissenting judgment indicates disagreement at the highest level and points to the urgent need to re-address the issue. Clear legal definitions must also be made to ensure such doubts, confusion and disagreement does not again arise.
That Lina Joy can no longer freely profess, practice and live out the religion of her choice marks detrimental for a nation that claims it is a progressive state well on its way to becoming a developed nation.
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang
The Lina Joy case has shattered confidence in the constitutional guarantees on freedom of religion, the constitution as the supreme law of the land and above all, the sacred Merdeka “social contract” underlying the constitution that Malaysia is a secular nation with Islam
as the official religion but not an Islamic state.
After the disappointing Lina Joy judgment of the Federal Court yesterday, voices were heard from some Islamic groups urging “those hoping for an opposite outcome to reconsider their position and to consider modifying their expectations to suit what is good and more sustainable considering our realities” .
Moderate Malaysians, both Muslim and non-Muslim, must be very concerned by such voices as the same argument with the very same words could be used to justify the complete abandonment of the fundamental secular principle of the “social contract” for the establishment of an Islamic state.
Joint statement by All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Sisters in Islam (SIS), Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) and Women’s Development Collective (WDC)
We are troubled that the decision will also have the effect of denying Lina Joy, and others in a similar position, various basic women’s rights, therefore infringing their human rights. These include the right to marry a partner of their choice and to choose their country of domicile, as they would have to leave Malaysia should they wish to marry non-Muslims.
Their reproductive rights are also affected in that they are denied the right to bear children within a legitimate marriage. All these rights are enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which Malaysia ratified in 1995.
We believe that the judgment approving the National Registration Department (NRD)’s requirement for Lina Joy to provide a certificate from the Syariah Court may open doors for abuse by allowing other agencies to impose discriminatory requirements that are not provided for in their regulations.
We call on the government to take urgent steps to ensure that all constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental liberties, including the freedom of personal faith, are upheld and given effect in practice.
Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM)
We believe that the constitutional provision in Article 11 which guarantees freedom of religion in our country has been severely diminished.
The majority judgement has denied the individual a right guaranteed under the constitution, a right to freedom of conscience and choice of religion. It would appear that the constitution is being read subject to extraneous (Syariah) considerations..
The CCM calls on the government to set in motion measures to protect religious freedom as originally envisaged in the Federal Constitution of 1957.
On this our 50th anniversary of Merdeka, we cannot feel a strong sense of celebration when a citizen like Lina Joy, and others like her, are denied their fundamental rights, taken away from them from the very courts that are duty bound to protect the civil liberties of all citizens and treat all as equal under the law.