Malaysia Madani: Challenges from the Kelantan shariah criminal enactment case

The Federal Court judgment in the case of Nik Elin Nik Abdul Rashid vs Kelantan state government resulted in 16 sections with the Shariah Criminal Enactment (1) 2019 being declared unconstitutional.

The public reaction especially from the Malay Muslim community on social media however was interesting as they pandered to the notion that the judgment is an affront to Islam and state sanctioned shariah laws.

Many failed to read the point of contention in the case. Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat in her course of going through the case and in the judgment had reiterated that the judgment was not a threat to Islam and the shariah laws.

Perikatan Nasional played up the sentiments that the official faith of the federation and Muslim law are under threat.

Many others too are looking at amending the federal constitution instead of revisiting the shariah laws in other states.

This indicates a challenge to the Madani framework introduced by the government.

Malaysia Madani

For the uninitiated, Madani is the framework introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who envisions a civilised, skilled and inclusive Malaysia with six core values.

The values are sustainability, prosperity, innovation, respect, trust and compassion.

These values are used to explore and strengthen eight requirements – economy and finance, legislation, institutions, education, community, culture, urban and rural.

Failing to read and understand the judgment indicates an erosion among the Malay Muslim community in practising chapter 96:1 of the Quran.

The criticisms and slanders being spread on social media shows the public has not embraced the Madani values of respect and trust.

Clearly they have not respected the judgment of the highest court of this land. There appears to be a trust issue against the judiciary too.

It is one thing to have values and vision. It is a different ball game altogether to get the masses onboard to realise this vision with values.

Work that needs to be done

The government seriously have to work its way up from the grassroots level to make Malaysia Madani a reality.

It has less than four years to do that. It is a monumental task, no doubt but it has to start somewhere.

Politically the idea of Malaysia Madani too would be beneficial for the ruling unity government.

Visions aren’t realised in a short span of five years. Real change can be felt in a decade.

For that to happen the Anwar Ibrahim administration needs a second term while upholding the values it is preaching to the people.

On that note, the interest of minorities, the non-Muslim non-Malay crowd must be taken cared of.

The ruling parties can take them for a ride if they are not keen in returning to power.