“The perception is that punishments meted out by the syariah court are too light and most of the time only apply to fines and never whipping. That is the contributing factor to the increase in syariah-related crimes each year, as the people think the laws are too trivial. Despite efforts carried out by various parties to curb immoral conduct, the problem has not been arrested.”
MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Department Maj-Gen (R) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, on what the new administration sees as pressing needs in regard to Islamic laws in Malaysia. He also said religious enforcement agencies would be empowered to “flawlessly” carry out whipping as a punishment under syariah law. (Source: Syariah court to have more bite, New Straits Times, 24 April 2009)
“We do not want Malaysia to turn into Taliban rule. If we don’t stop it, it may happen. We are a multiracial, multireligious country and have to respect individual rights regardless of religion or creed. No one religion should dominate the private lives of Malaysians in general.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, on moral policing by religious officers.
Officers from the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department had raided Zouk nightclub in early 2005 and detained more than 100 Muslim youths. Public outcry was immediate. The cabinet eventually announced a moratorium on moral policing by religious authorities, and suggested other checks and balances on the powers of religious officers. (Source: Cabinet: Senior police officer must also accompany religious raids, The Star, 25 Mar 2005)