PETALING JAYA – Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad faces the possibility of being disqualified as a Member of Parliament should the Klang Syariah court mete out the maximum sentence for teaching Islam without credentials today.
Academician and constitutional law expert Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said the Federal Constitution does not distinguish between the civil, criminal and syariah courts in terms of the word “convicted” contained in Article 48(1) (e).
“Article 48 (1) (e) clearly states that an MP can be disqualified if ‘he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or, before Malaysia Day, in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than RM2,000 and has not received a free pardon.
“So the question regarding courts does not arise,” he told theSun when contacted yesterday.
Sympathising over Khalid’s guilty verdict, Shad opined that the syariah laws regarding “teaching Islam without credentials” (mengajar tanpa tauliah) was an abuse of freedom of speech.
“However, the Federal Court in 2012 had declared that Section 51 (1) of the Negri Sembilan Syariah Criminal Enactment 1992 that makes it an offense for a Muslim to teach without credentials as valid and constitutional,” he added.
Khalid was found guilty last month of teaching Islam without credentials over a talk he gave at a surau in Kapar in 2011.
The Amanah communications director was charged under Section 119 (1) of the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment which provides for a fine of up to RM3,000 or a maximum jail term of two years, or both, upon conviction.
Meanwhile, speaking on the Parliament assault against him, Khalid clarified that he has yet to identify the main suspects involved in the Nov 24 incident.
In a statement yesterday, Khalid admitted that while he had identified two suspects during the identification parade on Jan 10, both were not the main perpetrators behind the incident.
“I had never stated that there were no suspects during the identification parade. I had merely stated that the ‘main suspects’ or ‘main characters’ in the assault were not present during the identification parade which I attended on Jan 10,” he said.
Stating that he was unable to attend the first identification parade on Dec 13 as he was out of the country, Khalid conceded that the main suspects could have been in the line up during that time.