MAIWP lawyer’s contention that Islamic Law is above constitution raises disturbing question of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s commitment to the fundamental constitutional principle that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land
The contention by the lawyer of the Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (MAIWP) to the Federal Court today that all Islamic enactments are excluded from fundamental liberties in the Federal Constitution raises disturbing questions of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet’s commitment to the fundamental constitutional principle that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
While the Federal Court has set August to hear the arguments on “a new point of monumental importance” in the case of lawyer Victoria Jayaseela Martin’s appeal in the Federal Court, seeking the right to practise Islamic law in the Shariah Court, the questions about the Prime Minister and the Cabinet’s commitment to the fundamental constitutional principle that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land must be asked and answered.
The MAIWP is a government body, whose Chairman is Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic Affairs; the Deputy Chairman, Dato Othman Mustapha, Ketua Pengarah JAKIM and ex officio members include the Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail, the Datuk Bandar and representatives from the Chief Secretary and the Inspector-General of Police.
It is reported that the postponement of the Federal Court hearing of the case today to August will also give the Attorney-General’s Chambers time to decide which position to take.
This is most ridiculous as the Attorney-General is an ex-officio member of MAIWP.
Did Gani Patail agree to the legal argument to be presented to the Federal Court on behalf of MAIWP that all Islamic enactments are excluded from fundamental liberties in the Federal Constitution and the inapplicability of Article 4 that the Constitution is the supreme law of Malaysia or was the Attorney-General kept completely in the dark until today?
Furthermore, has the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Jamil Khir Baharom, given his approval to the contention by the MAIWP lawyer in the Federal Court attacking the supremacy of the Constitution as the law of the land?
Is this also the stand of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet?
The Prime Minister and the Cabinet cannot plead ignorance to such a “monumental” attack on the constitution, especially as it is presented as made with the approval of a Cabinet Minister.
Any lawyer can argue any “monumental” interpretation of the Constitution as to undermine its core principles, but it is a different matter if such a contention is presented in the Federal Court in the name of the Government or Cabinet or any part thereof.
Such a development would be unheard of under the five
previous Prime Ministers of Malaysia from 1957 to 2009.
Can Datuk Seri Najib Razak explain why it is happening under his watch as Prime Minister?