KUALA LUMPUR: Associate law professor Azmi Sharom today pointed out that Malaysia was bound by the international Convention Against Torture although it has not ratified the convention.
“Malaysia is a member of the Commonwealth. Torture is against customary international law. We do not need to sign it to be bound by it,” said the Universiti Malaya academic at a forum held at the Bar Council this afternoon.
Malaysia has neither signed nor ratified the convention.
Speaking at a forum entitled ‘Rule of Law and Human Rights in Malaysia’ – jointly organised by Bar Council and the Bingham Centre for Rule of Law, Azmi said this in relation to plans to implement hudud in Kelantan.
The Islamic penal code allows flogging and amputation as a form of punishment. This is considered torture under the international convention.
Earlier this year Kelantan announced plans to push for two Private Member Bills to raise the form of punishments meted out in Syariah Court and for the formation of special Syariah courts. The bills would be tabled in September.
PAS is currently discussing with the BN-led federal government via a national committee on hudud to implement the Islamic penal code.
Rule of law
Earlier Azmi said that Malaysia has failed miserably in adhering to elements of the rule of law.
“We have failed miserably. Those who are supposed to respect human rights are not respecting it. There is also no protection that one deserves for expressing their rights,” he said.
Last week Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak identified “human rightism” as a threat to Islamic values.
Liberalism and secularism were also identified as threats to Islam. He has since made a U-turn and claimed that Malaysia adheres to human rights.
Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin claimed that “creeping” ideas of liberalism and pluralism led to people questioning Islamic authorities and the edicts that are passed.