Below is the reply from Hj Zainul, President of PGSM to my 11/4/2008 letter. I have taken the liberty of slightly modifying the formatting for easy reading.
Answers provided by Hj Zainul, Presiden of PGSM
17 April 08
Very Good day to you Jason.
Thank you for your view posted in our blog. I must admit that I learned a lot and appreciate your view. Your argument manifests mature discussion and avoids unnecessary emotional arguments.
Yes, I do not subscribe to IKIM DG position. I was one of the panels involved in formulating the resolutions. I was there, the DG was not there but he denied it was a resolution. Even if he disagrees with the resolution he can say so but should not deny that it was one of the resolutions.
I am of the opinion that non-Muslims should not be prosecuted in Syariah Courts. They should also not be prosecuted in civil court if it is not an offence. On this score I agree with you, Jason.
Nevertheless, it should not be so if the act involves Muslims. (Please note that the resolutions passed not restricted to offence of khalwat only, there are other offences such as destroying or defiling place of worship (s11); Contempt of religious authority (s12), defiance of court order (s15) etc.) Khalwat is the only example picked up by the press.
When the act involves Muslims, then I think the non Muslim should also be punished in civil court for ‘encouraging’ , (bersubahat) and participating with the Muslims to commit Islamic offence. However, law has to be legislate for this to take effect. At present we can’t enforce it.
Section 31 of the Syariah Criminal Enactment provides for indecent acts in public places, if the acts were done by a Muslim with a non Muslim, the Muslim will be charged under section 31 but I think the non-Muslim should also be charged under the Penal Code as you suggested. Please again do not confine our argument to khalwat case only because the resolution did not confine to khalwat. The press is the one who highlighted khalwat.
It is the general policy of the nation that our citizens must respect the law. And we should not see law refers to Sivil law only. Law includes Islamic laws passed by relevant legislatives bodies. I cannot imagine if a non-Muslim work in concoction with a Muslim to defy Islamic laws. In this event, I believe that both of them must be punished.
You replied to my example on native law in Sabah. Yes there are filter / check and balance be written sanction by the DO. The same can apply here. The civil court can be better filter than the DO. That is the reason why I said it must be done in civil court. If I propose it to be done in syariah court, definitely most of the non-Muslims will disagree and will say the syariah court as bias. We have to draft the law carefully so as not to upset Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
As to the Rukun Negara, I am fully aware that the Rukun Negara has no legal force. I never say that Rukun Negara is a guiding principle when formulating laws that govern Malaysia as a whole. What I question is that why Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie formulated the Rukun Negara in 1969 and made it as a policy of the nation. Scrap it out if we do not give any value to it.
I cannot agree with you that morality is not the sole basis of laws. It is only one of the considerations when formulating laws. I must admit also that there are different moral standards among communities in Malaysia. I may propose that all the personal laws of other communities than the Muslim’s be recognized as laws. Should they infringe the personal law, they should be prosecuted according to their own personal law. I am ok with it.
Please do not fear Islamic law because if it being applies in its entirety- fairness will prevail. Islamic law will not be enforced to non Muslim. The problem in Malaysia is that the government picks and choose which Islamic law they want to enforce and which they want to disregard. This is the problem that we face.
Jason, if I may suggest you, please read the philosophy of Islamic laws especially the law relating to crime, burden of proof and independence of Islamic judiciary, you will appreciate further on the Islamic law.
On you request for reference where adultery is punished severely in other religion than Islam here are the reference (I also include the position in Islam):-
Approach not adultery: for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road to other evils. 1. Islam. Qur'an 17.32
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and the adulterous. 2. Christianity. Hebrews 13.4
We find that to every sin God is long-suffering, except to the sin of unchastity. Rabbi Azariah said, "All things can God overlook save lewdness." 3. Judaism. Midrash, Leviticus Rabbah 23.9
Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man... has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 4. Christianity. Bible, Ephesians 5.5
Neither fornicate, for whosoever does that shall meet the price of sin--doubled shall be the chastisement for him on the Resurrection Day. 5. Islam. Qur'an 25.68-69
Violating and misusing love is the gravest of all crimes. Abusing love is a greater crime than cutting the universal root of life [murder]. 6. Unification Church . Sun Myung Moon, 3-20-77
Both learning and the practice of the Teaching are lost to him who is given to sexual intercourse. He employs himself wrongly. That is what is ignoble in him. 7. Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 815
Sutta Nipata 815: Cf. Sutra of Forty-two Sections 25, p. 929.
A wise man has nothing to do with lust. Lust is nothing but death, and lack of it is serenity. How can one who perceives this indulge in wanton behavior? 8. Jainism. Acarangasutra 2.61
Four misfortunes befall a careless man who commits adultery: acquisition of demerit, disturbed sleep, third, blame; and fourth, a state of woe. There is acquisition of demerit as well as evil destiny. Brief is the joy of the frightened man and woman. The king imposes a heavy punishment. Hence no man should frequent another man's wife. 9. Buddhism. Dhammapada 309-10
When a family declines, ancient traditions are destroyed. With them are lost the spiritual foundations for life, and the family loses its sense of unity. Where there is no sense of unity, the women of the family become corrupt; and with the corruption of its women, society is plunged into chaos. Social chaos is hell for the family and for those who have destroyed the family as well. 10. Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 1.40-42
Immorality in the house is like a worm in the vegetables. 11. Judaism. Talmud, Sota 3b
Do not approach thy neighbor's wife or maids. 12. Taoism. Tract of the Quiet Way
Let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till God give them independence by His grace. 13. Islam. Qur'an 24.33
Whoever has illicit affairs with the wives of his relatives or friends, either by force or through mutual consent, he is to be known as an outcast. 14. Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 123
The philanderer lusting after numerous women does not give up seeking in others' homes. What he does daily only brings regrets-- In sorrow and greed he is shriveled up. 15. Sikhism. Adi Granth, Dhanasari, M.5, p. 672
A man should not think incontinently of another's wife, much less address her to that end; for such a man will be reborn in a future life as a creeping insect. He who commits adultery is punished both here and hereafter; for his days in this world are cut short, and when dead he falls into hell. 16. Hinduism. Vishnu Purana 3.11
The lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;she does not take heed to the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.... Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,a lovely hind, a graceful doe. Let her affection fill you at all times with delight,be infatuated always by her love. Why should you be infatuated, my son, with a loose woman and embrace the bosom of an adventuress? For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he watches all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is caught in the toils of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is lost. 17. Judaism and Christianity. Proverbs 5.3-23
If you are handsome, do not go astray after lewdness, but honor your Creator, and fear Him, and praise Him with the beauty which He has given you. 18. Judaism. Pesikta Rabbati 127a
The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord... Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who joins himself a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two shall become one flesh." But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? 19. Christianity. 1 Corinthians 6.13-19________________________________________
1 Corinthians 6.13-19: Cf. 1 Corinthians 3.16-17, p. 211, on the sacredness of the human body as God's temple. Paul is quoting Genesis 2.24, p. 252. Vinaya Pitaka: The Vinaya Pitaka is the standard text of monastic discipline for Theravada monks.
Qur'an 24.30-32: Wearing the veil by Muslim women was instituted in the Qur'an as a practical protection against the temptation to adultery.
Offering presents to a woman, romping with her, touching her ornaments and dress, sitting with her on a bed, all these are considered adulterous acts. 20. Hinduism. Laws of Manu 8.357
A monk who, with sexual desire and a perverse intention, contacts a woman, holding her hand or holding a braid of her hair or rubbing against any part of her body, commits an offense, requiring formal meetings of the Order for its exoneration. 21. Buddhism. Vinaya Pitaka
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks,glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet; the Lord will smite with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion ,and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts. 22. Judaism and Christianity. Isaiah 3.16-17
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! God is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers... or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto God together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. 23. Islam. Qur'an 24.30-32
A master has said, "He who beholds a beautiful woman should say, 'Blessed be He who hath created such in His universe.'" But is even mere looking permitted? The following can surely be raised as an objection: "Thou shalt keep from every evil thing" [Deuteronomy 23.10] implies that one should not look intently at a beautiful woman, even if she be unmarried, nor at a married woman, even if she be ugly, nor at a woman's gaudy garments, nor at male and female asses or at a pig and a sow or at fowls when they are mating. 24. Judaism. Talmud, Aboda Zara 20ab
The lawful thing which God hates most is divorce. 25. Islam. (Saying of Prophet Muhammad)Hadith of Abu Dawud Aboda Zarah 20ab: Cf. Treatise on Response and Retribution, p. 932. Hadith of Abu Dawud: The Islamic law on divorce is found in Qur'an 2.226-32.
There a waiting period of four months is prescribed, to allow the decision to be reconsidered. Malachi 2.14-16: Christian and Jewish marriage is not like a secular contract which can be annulled at will; it is a covenant to which God is witness and third partner. Laws of Manu 9.95, 101: Divorce is permitted, but it is not done by virtuous people. According to Narada Dharma Sutra 12.92-100 and Laws of Manu 9.76-81, a man may divorce his wife on the grounds of adultery, profligacy, procuring an abortion, drunkenness, malicious speech, or failure to produce a male heir. A woman may divorce her husband if he becomes a religious ascetic, is impotent, is expelled from his caste, or is long absent. A waiting period of one to eight years is normally required.
The Lord was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.... "For I hate divorce," says the Lord. 26. Judaism and Christianity. Malachi 2.14-16
The husband receives his wife from the gods; he does not wed her according to his own will; doing what is agreeable to the gods, he must always support her while she is faithful. "Let mutual fidelity continue until death;" this may be considered as a summary of the highest law for husband and wife. 27. Hinduism. Laws of Manu 9.95, 101
And Pharisees came up and in order to test him [Jesus] asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away." But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." And in the house the disciples asked him about this matter. And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." 28. Christianity. Mark 10.2-12 ________________________________________Mark 10.2-12: In the parallel attestation in Matthew 19.3-9, there is an exception for 'unchastity.' Current biblical scholarship does not see this exception as sanctioning divorce on the grounds of marital infidelity. 'Unchastity' is not the same word as adultery; it is thought to refer to the incestuous relations practiced by some pagans before their conversion to Christianity. Jesus is quoting Genesis 1.27, p. 282 and Genesis 2.24, p. 252. Lotus Sutra 14: The 'five kinds of unmanly men' includes homosexuals, hermaphrodites, eunuchs, and those suffering from various kinds of impotence. The Sangha did not want anyone to join the order as an escape; it likewise barred from membership debtors who wanted to renege on their debts and young novices who did not have their parents' permission. Qur'an 29.28-29: This passage refers to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah .
According to the Bible (Genesis 19.4-11), when two angels came to Lot's home to warn him of the city's impending destruction, the mob demanded that Lot give the men over to them, that they might rape and sodomize them. Lot defended them and offered his daughters instead; at which point the mob sought to lay hands on Lot , but the angels rescued him. Romans 1.26-27: The 'due penalty' probably refers to venereal disease.
In addition, there is the spiritual damage to the personality of one who engages in such behavior.You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 29. Judaism and Christianity. Leviticus 18.22
The bodhisattva does not approach the five kinds of unmanly men in order to be friendly with or close to them. 30. Buddhism. Lotus Sutra 14 And Lot said to his people, "You commit lewdness, such as no people in creation ever committed before you. Do you indeed come in unto males?" 31. Islam. Qur'an 29.28-29
God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 32. Christianity. Romans 1.26-27
Lastly, I hope my explanation above clarifies the issue.
May God bless us all.
Hj Zainul Rijal
p/s We don’t have the soft copy of all the resolutions. All of them are with IKIM. We will try to get it soon.