Home Civil Society Voices A dark day for Malaysia

A dark day for Malaysia

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This is a dark day for Malaysia, says Rozana Isa, in response to a High Court decision which has upheld the fatwa against Sisters in Islam.

The decision has the effect of eroding rights guaranteed under the Federal Constitution with a fatwa, which is a state subsidiary ruling and not a legislative decision by Parliament.

This dangerously suggests that a fatwa may override our country’s Federal Constitution – and begs the question if the Federal Constitution is still the supreme law of the land. 

The judgment represents a dark day not only for SIS, but also for Muslim women in Malaysia. For over three decades, SIS has been carrying the voices of women from the ground to decision makers and policymakers.

Despite the fatwa, SIS remains instrumental in informing laws and conducting programs that continue to improve the lives of millions of women in Malaysia. 

SIS has helped over 10,000 women and men through our Telenisa service – a free legal helpline which remains the only non-judgemental and rights-based advisory service for Islamic Family and Sharia laws in Malaysia today.

Other issues championed by SIS include ending child marriages and female genital mutilation, promoting gender equality in Muslim marriages and Islamic family laws, and taking a stance against gender-based violence and moral policing.

The upholding of the fatwa suggests that helping women to get justice in court, informing women of their rights, proposing reforms pertaining to Islamic family law, protecting children and engaging in intellectual discourse on Islam and women’s rights – all constitute being deviant.

The judgment, which may affect public and private companies in Malaysia, sets a dangerous precedent whereby companies are now subjected to Sharia laws and hukum syarak where it has Muslim individuals as its “directing minds,” for example, in the hospitality and entertainment industries.

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This may include not only the board of directors and shareholders but also company decision-making personnel, who are all now personally subjected to Sharia law via compliance to hukum syarak.

Despite promises of a progressive and forward-thinking Malaysia, it is extremely unfortunate that such a judgment has emerged that may curtail fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Federal Constitution.

While the fatwa continues to hang over our heads, SIS vows to continue championing the rights of women in Malaysia. After 62 years of independence, Malaysian women deserve better than this.

Rozana Isa is executive director of Sister in Islam.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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29 Aug 2019 9.17pm

And civil rights certainly ABOVE ….
A multiracial country based on canon law and JUDGEMENT…

Perumal Kali
28 Aug 2019 12.51pm

It is very unfortunate that The sanctity Of the Islam religion is not adhered by the pseudo religious leaders like ZN who could fall as a deviant preacher too.Religion should unite people in mind & body to seek unity in diversity.But here it looks that the already tribal followers are further confusing the sacred mind of the Muslims…

29 Aug 2019 5.05pm
Reply to  Perumal Kali

What rubbish are you … spewing.
Why dont u comment on Kula (statement). You wont because you are a bigot and Islamaphobic .

Patrick Ling
28 Aug 2019 10.38am

pH is resembling more n more like BN as the time goes by!

2 Sep 2019 6.15am
Reply to  Patrick Ling

worst than BN

Sureshpal Singh
28 Aug 2019 9.47am

The judge need to be transferred to the syariah courts. How can a fatwa be evon recongnised in civil courts

2 Sep 2019 6.14am

on the first place why SIS goes to civil court? don’t blame the judge

Wengseng Chan
28 Aug 2019 8.45am

How professional competent and just was the judge?

28 Aug 2019 7.37am

SIS can go on with its services to help the masses. But, it has to be in line with the real islamic teachings rather than its own skewed interpretations of those teachings. Can a dentist prescribe whats good for a heart patient?

2 Sep 2019 6.18am
Reply to  Ahmad

true.. SIS has to stop trying to be Islamic jurist

Roy Trusmadi
28 Aug 2019 6.55am

Keep up with the fight SIS.

Mac Snoopee Ong
28 Aug 2019 5.43am

Waaaahh. Kena fatwa.

Yong Tan
28 Aug 2019 12.32am

Not surprised when submissions to men’s group was so successful, with girls and women agreed to polygamy to get those men’s financial support and higher social recognition…. These men will never give up their power!!

Der Baron
Der Baron
29 Aug 2019 5.58pm
Reply to  Yong Tan

… please go away. Not your business..

Asmawati Asnawi
27 Aug 2019 11.37pm

Respect the Court. If not happy with the Decision, proceed with Appeal

Roy Sharma
27 Aug 2019 10.43pm

Parliament needs to step in

Sirhan Sirhan
27 Aug 2019 11.12pm
Reply to  Roy Sharma

Roy Sharma it was created by parliament to have a different court.

Pau Kar Liau
28 Aug 2019 5.15am
Reply to  Roy Sharma

And empowered by Tun M more than 20 years ago

Der baron
Der baron
29 Aug 2019 6.00pm
Reply to  Roy Sharma

… go away. Not your business

2 Sep 2019 6.22am
Reply to  Roy Sharma

before you give stupid comments please read the federal constitution…

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