Moving towards Darul Khunsa

Supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters celebrate outside the Court of Appeal after the court declares Section 66 of Negri Sembilan Shariah law unconstitutional, November 7, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/fearing-domino-effect-of-court-decision-on-transgenders-isma-says-mains-mus#sthash.Z0oMIaZH.dpuf

Muslim lawyers appeal to the corresponding State Governments to view and prepare all cases involving Muslims with proper referrences to State Constitution, where they are bound to adhere.

KENYATAAN AKHBAR PERSATUAN 

PEGUAM PEGUAM MUSLIM MALAYSIA (PPMM) 

Berkaitan Penghakiman Mahkamah Rayuan  yang memutuskan Seksyen 66 Enakmen Jenayah Syariah (Negeri Sembilan) 1992  tidak berperlembagaan)

Bertarikh: 8 November 2014

Kepada semua media
Untuk Siaran Segera

PPMM berasa amat terkejut dengan keputusan sebulat suara Mahkamah Rayuan pada 7 November 2014 yang memutuskan Seksyen 66 Enakmen Jenayah Syariah ( Negeri Sembilan) 1992 adalah tidak berperlembagaan kerana mendiskriminasi golongan minoriti. Keputusan tersebut dibuat setelah tiga orang lelaki Islam merayu kepada Mahkamah Rayuan apabila Mahkamah Tinggi menolak permohonan mereka mengisytiharkan sekyen tersebut tidak berperlembagaan.  Ketiga-tiga lelaki Islam berkenaan telah dituduh di Mahkamah Syariah Negeri Sembilan di bawah seksyen 66 tersebut kerana memakai pakaian perempuan atau berlagak seperti perempuan di tempat awam.

Seksyen tersebut berbunyi seperti berikut:

“Seksyen 66. Lelaki berlagak seperti perempuan.

Mana-mana orang lelaki yang memakai pakaian perempuan atau berlagak seperti perempuan di mana-mana tempat awam adalah melakukan satu kesalahan dan hendaklah apabila disabitkan dikenakan hukuman denda tidak melebihi satu ribu ringgit atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi enam bulan atau kedua-duanya.”

Sehingga siaran akhbar ini ditulis PPMM masih lagi belum mendapat salinan penghakiman yang diputuskan pada 7 November 2014 itu. PPMM juga tidak mendapat makluman berkaitan dengan hujahan-hujahan yang telah dikemukakan oleh kedua belah pihak semasa prosiding rayuan berjalan. Pada kebiasaan hakim-hakim akan membuat keputusan berdasarkan persoalan yang dihujahkan di hadapan mahkamah.

Oleh yang demikian siaran akhbar ini dibuat berdasarkan laporan-laporan yang dibuat di akhbar-akhbar dan media alternatif sahaja dan menyentuh aspek keabsahan dan kesan keputusan yang dibuat oleh Mahkamah Rayuan tersebut.

Di dalam kes Sulaiman Takrib v Majlis Agama Islam Trengganu, Mahkamah Persekutuan telah memutuskan bahawa Dewan Undangan Negeri mempunyai kuasa legislatif untuk membuat apa-apa kesalahan dan hukuman yang melanggar perintah agama Islam. Perintah agama Islam termasuklah juga isu-isu berkaitan akhlak atau moral bagi orang Islam seperti di dalam Seksyen 66 tersebut. Di dalam kes tersebut Mahkamah Persekutuan memutuskan makna ‘precepts of Islam’ bukan sekadar rukun Islam tetapi apa-apa perintah agama Islam. Menjaga akhlak adalah sebahagian dari perintah agama Islam dan lelaki berpakaian wanita adalah diharamkan di dalam Islam.

Manakala di dalam kes Titular Roman Catholic Archibishop of Kuala Lumpur v Menteri Dalam Negeri dan 8 yang lain pula, Mahkamah Persekutuan memutuskan antara lain kebenaran dari Mahkamah Persekutuan perlu diperolehi terlebih dahulu di dalam sesuatu prosiding yang mencabar keperlembagaan sesuatu undang-undang.

Berdasarkan dua penghakiman Mahkamah Persekutuan di atas, PPMM berpandangan Mahkamah Rayuan telah khilaf di dalam penghakiman semalam.  Malah ia juga tidak sejajar dengan beberapa peruntukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan seperti Perkara 3 yang meletakkan Islam bukan sekadar agama rasmi tetapi agama bagi Persekutuan seperti yang diputuskan di dalam kes-kes Lina Joy melawan Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persecution (Mahkamah Persekutuan) dan Meor Atiqurrahman melawan Fatimah Sihi (Mahkamah Tinggi). Begitu juga obligasi berperlembagaan Yang Di Pertuan Agong di dalam Jadual Keempat Perlembagaan Persekutuan di mana YDPA bersumpah memelihara Islam pada setiap masa.  Sebagai Ketua Eksekutif sebenar Negara (Perkara 39) sumpah YDPA tersebut menjadi suatu obligasi kepada semua cabang pentadbiran dan kehakiman negara untuk dipenuhi.

Isu diskriminasi kepada golongan minoriti tidak seharusnya timbul kerana kebebasan fundamental  (fundamental liberties) seperti yang dinyatakan di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan bukanlah suatu yang tiada batasannya. Hak tersebut tidak bersifat mutlak dan ia perlu dibaca bersama-sama dengan peruntukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang lain. Perlembagaan Persekutuan mesti dibaca secara bersesama bukan diasing-asingkan antara satu sama lain (harmonious interpretation). Mentafsirkan peruntukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan secara berasingan akan hanya membawa implikasi percanggahan peruntukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan sesama sendiri.

Keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan tersebut juga gagal mengambilkira norma masyarakat Melayu Islam (grundnorm of the society) yang merupakan teras kepada jatidiri kebangsaan. Islam dan Melayu merupakan sebahagian daripada struktur asas (basic structures) yang membentuk Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Memusnahkan strucktur asas ini akan mengakibatkan jatidiri dan kerangka Perlembagaan Persekutuan itu sendiri terpecah.

Walau apapun penghakiman semalam adalah penghakiman yang sah oleh sebuah mahkamah yang kompeten. Ia perlu dihormati sehingga ada keputusan sebaliknya.

PPMM menyeru Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan dan pihak-pihak yang dinamakan di dalam prosiding tersebut memohon kebenaran merayu dalam tempoh yang ditetapkan. PPMM juga mendesak sementara menunggu permohonan kebenaran merayu diputuskan Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan memohon penggantungan perintah yang dikeluarkan itu.  PPMM juga menyeru Kerajaan Persekutuan yang merupakan “amicus curae” di dalam prosiding tersebut  bekerjasama dengan Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan di dalam rayuan tersebut.

PPMM selanjutnya menyeru semua Majlis-Majlis Agama Islam Negeri-Negeri  (MAINS) di seluruh Malaysia supaya memohon kebenaran mencelah di dalam prosiding rayuan kelak. Ini adalah disebabkan Majlis-Majlis Agama Islam adalah penasihat utama dalam hal ehwal agama Islam kepada Sultan/ Raja/ Yamtuan negeri masing-masing dan YDPA bagi negeri yang tidak mempunyai Raja. Keputusan ini juga memberi kesan kepada undang-undang yang sama yang ada di negeri-negeri lain.  MAINS mempunyai kepentingan undang-undang yang jelas di dalam prosiding ini kerana ia juga akan memberi kesan kepada undang-undang di negeri berkenaan.

PPMM bersedia memberi taklimat, khidmat dan pandangan kepada MAINS khasnya dan semua Majlis Agama Islam amnya   dalam perkara ini.

PPMM juga menyeru kepada semua umat Islam di Malaysia supaya bertenang bagi membolehkan proses undang-undang berjalan sewajarnya.

Dato’ Haji Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar
Presiden
Persatuan Peguam Peguam Muslim Malaysia (PPMM)

***********

In the surprise decision by Court of Appeal on men cross-dressing, which was decided by Seremban Syariah Court based on Section 66 of the Syariah Penal Code for Negeri Sembilan, is deemed ‘Unconstitutional’ and contravened to individual rights. The judges decided that fundamental liberties are guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

The Star story:

Published: Friday November 7, 2014 MYT 11:36:00 AM
Updated: Friday November 7, 2014 MYT 4:48:44 PM

Court of Appeal: Negri Sembilan Syariah law against cross-dressing unconstitutional

BY QISHIN TARIQ

Palace of Justice in Putrajaya

PUTRAJAYA: Punishing transgenders for cross-dressing contravenes freedom of expression, the Court of Appeal declared Friday, in a landmark ruling.

The panel allowed the appeal of three transgenders who sought to have Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 declared unconstitutional.

The panel lead by Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus ruled that Section 66 contravened multiple Articles of the Federal Constitution which ensured fundamental liberties, including Article 5(1), 8(1), 8(2), 9(2), and 10(1).

“A person’s dress, attire or article of clothing are a form of expression, which in our view is guaranteed under Article 10 (freedom of expression),” he said.

The panel also found that a state legislative assembly has no power to restrict freedom of speech, and that only Parliament could do so within reason.

Currently, Section 66 allows the Syariah Court to punish any man who dresses or poses as a woman with up to six months in prison or be fined a maximum RM1,000; regardless of whether they had Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

“Clearly, the restriction imposed on the appellants and other GID sufferers is unreasonable. Thus from the aspect of reasonableness, Section 66 is unconstitutional,” ruled the court.

Justice Mohd Hishamudin disagreed with the Seremban High Court findings that the Syariah law was reasonable in order to protect society from homosexuality which would lead to the spread of HIV.

“The High Court’s remarks are unsupported by, and contrary to, evidence and is tainted by unscientific personal feelings or personal prejudice,” said Justice Mohd Hishamudin.

He said the High Court judge was “particularly transfixed with homosexual relations” in her reasoning, although the present case has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality but was rather about gender identity.

The Court of Appeal panel, which also included Justices Aziah Ali and Lim Yee Lan, made no order as to costs.

Counsel Aston Paiva represent the transgender appellants, while Iskandar Ali Dewa acted as legal advisor for the Negri Sembilan state government, and senior federal counsel Suzanna Atan acted for the Attorney-General’s Chambers as amicus curae(friend of the court).

Speaking to reporters, Aston said cross-dressers could still be arrested, but were now empowered to challenge it at High Court.

Justice For Sisters advocacy manager Nisha Ayub said they would be educating transgenders around the country and encouraging them to challenge similarly prohibitive laws in their states.

***********

This landmark ruling will now set the precedence for other Pondans and Mak Nyahs to challenge any rulings against them.

The Malay Mail online story:

After landmark win, transgenders set to challenge anti-crossdressing Shariah laws across Malaysia

BY ZURAIRI ARNOVEMBER

7, 2014

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 7 ― Transgenders all over Malaysia have been urged to challenge Shariah laws outlawing crossdressing in each state, after the Court of Appeal ruled earlier that the Negri Sembilan version is inconsistent with the Federal Constitution and therefore void.

Calling the decision “landmark”, rights group Justice for Sisters (JFS) said the transgender community should now feel empowered and realise that their rights are being tread upon.

“I’d say this is a historical moment for the transgender community not just in Seremban, but throughout Malaysia. It’s a landmark case. Hopefully we can use this case as a landmark case to challenge in other states too,” JFS’ activist Nisha Ayub told reporters outside the court here.

Section 66 of the Negri Sembilan Shariah Criminal Enactment 1992 outlaws any Muslim man who “wears a woman attire and poses as a woman”, with the punishment of a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or jail of not more than six months or both.

The court’s three-man bench, led by Justice Datuk Hishamudin Mohd Yunus, ruled today that the Shariah law contravened constitutional provisions that guarantee personal liberty, equality, freedom of movement, and freedom of expression.

It also said the law was discriminatory as it fails to recognise men diagnosed with the Gender Identity Disorder (GID), or transgenderism.

Besides Negri Sembilan’s Section 66, other states’ Shariah criminal enactments also have provisions that give religious authorities the right to prosecute the trans community for “cross-dressing”, with fines ranging from RM1,000 to RM5,000, and imprisonment from six months to three years.

“I would definitely encourage other transgenders in other states to do the same thing, because it’s time for us to move on,” said Nisha.

“The thing about the trans community, once they see this, you encourage them to come out rather than being oppressed. Looking at today’s judgment, they will be more empowered to come out.”

Nisha also said the transgender community is unfazed by probable backlash from religious authorities, who might intensify their crackdown on the community despite the ruling.

“[The persecution] is not something new. At least now the transgender community know their right to challenge the law, not to just plead guilty.”

Muslim-majority Malaysia continues to reject the perceived rise in queer activities, which it deems to be an assault against Islam together with growing calls for greater civil liberties.

Transgender activists estimated that there are around 60,000 Malaysian who identify as transgenders, with Malays making up 70 per cent of them.

“Transwomen” or “transgender” are terms used to refer to those who were born male but associate themselves with the female identity, and has nothing to do with sexual preferences.

***************

Inadvertently this will spur the drive of the movement to promote more acceptance of LGBT.

The Malay-Muslim hardliners are pleading for the Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Sembilan (MAINS) to appeal against the CoA judgment, which set aside the Syariah High Court.

The Malay Mail online:

Fearing domino effect of court decision on transgenders, ISMA says MAINS must appeal

NOVEMBER 7, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Muslim group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) urged the Negri Sembilan Islamic religious council (MAINS) to immediately file an appeal against an appellate court’s decision today to declare a Shariah law banning cross-dressing as unconstitutional.

Muhammad Luttfi Abdul Khalid, who chairs the group’s law unit iPeguam, said the appeal is necessary as today’s court decision will likely be used as a precedent in all similar legal challenges in the future by the country’s community of Muslim transgenders.

“This decision will also be used as a reference point by other states and the Federal Territory should a similar case crop up.

“This is because the state Islamic religious authorities have no choice but to bound by the Court of Appeal’s ruling,” he said on ISMA’s website.

Earlier this morning, the Court of Appeal declared as unconstitutional Section 66 of the Negri Sembilan Shariah Criminal Enactment 1992, which outlaws any Muslim man who “wears a woman attire and poses as a woman” and stipulates a punishment of a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or jail of not more than six months or both upon conviction of such an offence.

The court’s three-man bench, led by Justice Datuk Hishamudin Mohd Yunus, ruled that the Shariah law contravened constitutional provisions that guarantee personal liberty, equality, freedom of movement, and freedom of expression.
It also said the law was discriminatory as it fails to recognise men diagnosed with the Gender Identity Disorder (GID), or transgenderism.

Besides Negri Sembilan’s Section 66, other states’ Shariah criminal enactments also have provisions that give religious authorities the right to prosecute the trans community for “cross-dressing”, with fines ranging from RM1,000 to RM5,000, and imprisonment from six months to three years.

After the landmark victory, rights group Justice for Sisters (JFS) said the transgender community should now feel empowered and realise that their rights are being tread upon.

The group also urged transgenders all over Malaysia to challenge all Shariah laws outlawing cross-dressing in each state.

“I’d say this is a historical moment for the transgender community not just in Seremban, but throughout Malaysia. It’s a landmark case.

“Hopefully we can use this case as a landmark case to challenge in other states too,” JFS’ activist Nisha Ayub told reporters outside the court here.

Muslim-majority Malaysia continues to reject the perceived rise in queer activities, which it deems to be an assault against Islam together with growing calls for greater civil liberties.

Transgender activists estimated that there are around 60,000 Malaysian who identify as transgenders, with Malays making up 70 per cent of them.

“Transwomen” or “transgender” are terms used to refer to those who were born male but associate themselves with the female identity, and has nothing to do with sexual preferences.

************

It has been highlighted in some quarters, the preparation by the Negeri Sembilan State Government was poor. It was said that the lawyer representing MAINS was not competent enough to handle such cases, especially at Court of Appeal level.

On top of that he was not assisted. Whether it is deliberate or a gross oversight, the damage has already been done.

The fact is that, this ruling based on the judges’ interpretation of provisions in the Federal Constitution provided the precedence for any future undertakings for these persons who choose to be against the natural order of preference.

This ‘preference’, which unacceptable to majority of Malaysians which include the Non Muslims and more often being frowned upon, is now a right guaranteed under the law.

It is very clear that the struggle for the interpretation of ‘human rights’ in Malaysia has been manipulated and skewed for the benefit individual preference, be it at the expense by insulting the norm, principles and value system of the majority and traditions, not to mention beliefs.

A progressive and developed society does not tantamount of individuals to complete free to interpret norms, principles and value system. Decadence, is just a few steps before any society or civilisation to self-destruct into oblivion.

The next step the activists for these odd persons is to revoke the laws against ‘Unnatural sex’, which had always been a proviso under Section 377 of the Penal Code. The same law also is embedded in 41 other Commonwealth nation.

Published in: on November 9, 2014 at 16:00  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hah, Darul Khunsa. Memang sudah banyak sangat yang mengarut berlaku di negara ini. Memang perlu di keritik, di kutuk, di lepuk di sana sini. Ketua Hakim Negara telah menyebut masa dia menghadziri suatu seminar guaman di Kota Bharu beberapa lama dahulu bahawa rakyat boleh mengkritik penghakiman mana mana Mahkamah salepas penghakiman di buat. Asalkan memberi fakta fakta dan hujah hujah
    yang munasabah. Ayuh, mari kita buat demikian.

    Fakta dan hujah pertama, paling ulung dan amat mustahak – Perkara 3 Perlembagaan menyatakan “Islam ada lah agama Persekutan”, atau Islam ada lah agama negara ini.

    Ini di sebut sebagai Perkara 3, antara yang paling terawal di antara Perkara Perkara Perlembagaan kita. Tentu ada sebab nya. Nyata begitu penting nya. Maka perlu di beri pandangan yang sesuai di atas nya. Bermakna Perkara saperti kebebasan mesti mengambil kira kehendak agama Islam. Kebebasan mesti ada had nya. Dan had yang di tentukan di undang undang yang telah di kanunkan mengikut Perkara 3 Perlembagaan itu mesti di patuhi. Jika badan badan Kerajaan yang telah di tubuhkan mengikut undang undang tersebut telah menyatakan, malahan ada undang undang tersendiri di kanunkan oleh Dewan Undangan Negeri, telah memutuskan, bahawa salah bagi sesiapa Muslim berpakaian salah jantina, maka semua pihak mesti patuhi nya. Termasuk Mahkamah Rayuan.

    Jika tidak, dan undang undang yang di kanun di peringkat Dewan Undangan Negeri itu menyanggah atau ultra vires Perlembagaan negara, mengapa pihak berkenaan tidak mengambil tindakan selepas sahaja pengkanunan itu di buat? Bukan kah tanggung jawab Mahkamah melakukan begitu? Bukan kan tugas Pendaftar Mahkamah? Sekurang kurang nya membawa perkara itu kapada perhatian Peguam Negara? Bila menunggu kes di Mahkamah, kemudian di putuskan begitu, bukan kah tak semenggah nampak nya. Memang, peraturan nya Mahkamah Rayuan boleh menidakkan apa apa keputusan Mahkamah yang lebih rendah dari nya. Tetapi saya mahu dengar pendapat bijak pandai undangan mengapa tidak boleh di lakukan mana mana pihak yang nampak atau fikir sesuatu undang undang mencanggah Perlembagaan negara di ambil tindakan menukarkan nya sabelom berlaku rasa malu bila Perkara 3 Perlembagaan tidak di beri perhatian saperti kes ini.

    Sekarang saya dengan tegas nya mengesyorkan supaya pihak pihak berkenaan – Pendakwa Raya dan Peguam Pembela – ambil tindakan menentukan Rayuan ke Mahkamah tertinggi, Mahkamah Persekutuan nanti, ambil kira dengan sapenuhnya Perkara 3 Perlembagaan itu.

  2. It does not sound sensible, does it, that freedom and individual rights can transgress Article 3 of the Constitution which plainly states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation.” Are freedom and individual rights so all-encompassing that no they are not governed by other Articles of the Constitution?

    If so, does it mean that freedom includes people being allowed to berak on the streets?

    There have been laws enacted pursuant to Article 3, setting up the various religious bodies that administer and regulate the practice of Islam. Surely, all Muslims are governed by those?

    It’s shocking and very unsatisfactory this Appeal Court decision. Yes, it’ll be interesting to read the written judgment giving their grounds in full for allowing the appeal. Hope BD will update the above post when the written judgment becomes available.

  3. Those Articles of the Constitution say everybody has freedom, rights.

    Article 3 says the religion of this country is Islam. Other laws are passed connected with Article 3. Rules and regulations are made.

    Does it mean that everybody has freedom and rights to do as they like and simply put aside those laws, rules and regulations?

    Cannot be. Not logical.

  4. The bloke above possibly thinks that the Appeal Court decision covers non-Muslims as well. Maybe he doesn’t even read thoroughly the post above. It concerns cross-dressing by 3 Muslim men.

    If he is aware of that yet makes that kind of derogatory comment on the Constitution, laws and regulations pertaining to Muslims, then he is looking for trobol, innit? Looking to be wanked on his head verbally.

    And he sure gets that from me now. For doing so without any justification or explanation.

  5. hah, the comments that I have addressed my latest 3 comments to have now disappeared.

    Never the mind, hehe.

    • They have been “censored”, dude.

      Must have stepped on some sensitive toes & all.

      Bwahahaha….

    • Anyways, since my comments about Johor haven’t been censored (up to now), why don’t you respond to what was posted?

      It’s not as if these are super-secret. They have been reported extensively in the Singapore newspapers.

      You know, “sensitive toes” and all…..


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