28 May 2016

Malaysia's government throws support behind Islamic penal code that includes amputations and stonings

Malaysia’s government has caused widespread outrage in the multi-ethnic country after adopting an Islamic penal code that will introduce amputations and stoning as punishments for some crimes.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s coalition government unexpectedly submitted the bill that had been proposed by the Islamist group Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS).

PAS has been pushing federal MPs to amend laws so that it can implement strict Islamic criminal laws, the Straits Times reported. This would include chopping off the hands of thieves.

Critics said the prime minister was only using “hudud”, the Islamic law, in a bid to win the support of Muslim voters ahead of two by-elections in Malaysia, and to fend off attacks on his leadership.

However Mr Najib has said the bill has been “misunderstood”, Reuters reported.

“It's not hudud, but what we refer to as enhanced punishment,” he told a news conference. [The Independent] Read more