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Another Brick in the Wall
There was a decision made by the Court of Appeal on the 26thof September 2019 against the Selangor religious authorities in relation to the publication of Irshad Manji’s book by a company owned by Dato Zaid Ibrahim’s son.
The Court of Appeal judge Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, who chaired a three member bench with Hasnah Mohamed Hashim and Suraya Othman uttered an insulting words against Islam and indirectly, state sovereign, the Sultan of Selangor.
The report by FMT mentioned:
“The appeal is allowed in part,” Umi said, adding that the conduct of the state religious authorities would lead to the “law of jungle and rule by ulama”.
According to lawyers contacted, Judges have the discretion to make any comments in court. However, are they not bound by any form of ethical code for judges, or the least, decent common courtesy in their conduct in court?
Ulama is an integral part of Islamic practises, jurisprudence and spiritual guidance. To associate law of the jungle with rule by ulama is an insult to Islam and disrespectful to the religion of the Federation as stated under Article 3 of the Federal Constitution.
The Malay rulers are constitutionally accorded the position as protectors of Islam and Islamic institutions falls under the jurisdiction of the sovereign. It follows, Judge Umi’s remark is considered as disrespectful of the Islamic authority of the Malay rulers.
Apparently, Umi is known among her contemporaries as half Chinese and “liberal” in outlook and is known for her indifference in the practises of the religion she claim to profess. However, her disoriented inclination does not give her the right to be rude and devoid of any common courtesy.
Before common law existed or there was any written documentation to govern any community of men, it was religion that guided law and order and its canonisation later develop communities into state and subsequently civilisation.
Islam built civilisation with ulama and syariah law which played a role in its development. It is something that common law on its own is unable to do.
For someone late in her age, Umi’s ignorance of history and prejudice against religion, particularly Islam, is openly displayed.
Umi’s remark against Selangor religious authorities, which comes under the jurisdiction of the sovereign, may be construed as being directed at the institution instead of the individuals, thus is considered a direct insult against the Sultan of Selangor.