Kuala Lumpur – Data from countries that have implemented Hudud laws do not support the view that the laws have been able to reduce levels of crime, veteran opposition politician Lim Kit Siang said today.
Implementing Hudud laws have been fraught with numerous problems and challenges in Brunei, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia including the wrongful persecution and prosecution of rape victims, DAP’s parliamentary leader said in a statement.
“In addition, the implementation of Hudud in Pakistan and Nigeria does not seem to have led to a decrease in crime rates,” he said.
Lim also said Saudi Arabia should not be used as a successful example of how the implementation of hudud has decreased the crime rate.
“The low number of reported rapes may be due to the harsh sentences meted out to rape victims in the past, which may have discouraged other rape victims from reporting their cases,” he said.
“In addition, according to Human Rights Watch in 2007, the criminalisation of any contact between unmarried individuals of the opposite sex in Saudi Arabia severely impedes the ability of rape victims to seek justice, he added.
A court may view a woman’s charge of rape as an admission of extramarital sexual relations unless she can prove, by strict evidentiary standards, that this contact was legal and the intercourse was non-consensual, Lim said.
In Pakistan, hudud laws have not been able to lower crime rates, he said, citing crime statistics since Hudud was implemented in the country in 1979.
Lim also cited former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid as saying that the effects of having the laws have been unclear.
“From what we read regarding what had happened in Pakistan, Nigeria and Sudan, since the implementation of the laws in question, we are still unable to say that it is going on smoothly and has achieved greater justice,” Lim quoted the former chief justice as saying.
Lim said the different political systems in Brunei and Malaysia made Brunei an inappropriate the example as that Malaysia too can implement hudud law.
“The fact that Brunei too has temporarily suspended the implementation of hudud law should be a reminder to us of the practical complications of such laws and why they should not be implemented in a multi-religious and multi-racial society like Malaysia,” he said.