OFFENCES BY PERSONS PROFESSING THE RELIGION OF ISLAM AGAINST PRECEPTS OF THAT RELIGION
This article analyses laws for Muslims under the Malaysian legal system by outlining its historical and legal developments in British Malaya and Malaysia. It is primarily concerned with the matter of offences by persons professing the religion of Islam against precepts of that religion. It has the dual objective of providing readers with a solid account of the historical context in which these offences were developed, and analyses the approach taken by the Judiciary of today with respect to these offences since their re-enacting after Merdeka. It argues that the Judiciary has failed to preserve the Constitution as envisaged in 1957. Recent decisions of the Federal Court have disregarded the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Mamat Daud, misinterpreted the common noun ‘precepts’ for the proper noun ‘Precepts of Islam’ while favouring the opinions of contemporary experts on religion when interpreting the Constitution. This article finds that Parliament must remedy this continued failure by the Judiciary by engaging with interested persons, and in doing so, preserve the protections of the Constitution of 1957, and allow the subject matter – laws for Muslims in Malaysia – to be subject to 21st century democratic deliberation.