Don’t let the Constitution become a tool of the few

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from: Harinder Singh, via email

A constitution is the basic framework of a nation. All other laws owe their cause of existence to the constitution. It can be said to be the mother to all laws. Therefore, no law shall stand ultra vires or in contradiction to the constitution. The supremacy of the constitution prevails over all other laws.

The proposition for the enactment of Islamic criminal law or hudud law has been the focal point for contentious debate, sufficiently contentious for those on the opposing side to have been given the epithet “an enemy of Islam”.

If enacted, the newly imposed Islamic criminal law sanctions stand in clear contradiction with our constitution. An example is Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which ensures equality before the law. With varying punishments for non-Muslims and Muslims, for similar offences committed, a clear breach of Article 8 would result.

I wish not to dwell into the contradictions between hudud and our constitution as much has been said. The contradictions are as lucid as they are real.

What truly stands dreadfully worrying is the seemingly escalating trend of undermining the importance and worth of the fundamental law of the land – our constitution.

A few have taken it to the extent of proposing amendments to the constitution to allow enactment of legislation that exhibits profound contradictions.

It is indeed staggering how the constitution is being made to serve an appearance of a mere document that can be disregarded and amended if in disconformity with opinion and religion.

The proponents appear to hold no regard to the constitution; to ardently advance their interests further, they exhibit no reverence for the very fabric of our constitution with dubious misinterpretations in what reflects seemingly to be a silent attempt at rewriting our constitution as it stands.

We must not be misled. We must strive to uphold the purest nature of our constitution: one exhibiting distinct elements of secularism.

It is as much yours as it is mine. It provides for one and for all just as it protects one and all. Let us stand together to defend, to protect and to uphold the Malaysian constitution, the fundamental law of our land as it is and as it ought to justly stand.

Harinder Singh is a law student and an FMT reader

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