Introduction of Moral Policing
“Moral policing” refers to the set of provisions that criminalise personal breaches of religious conduct for Muslims in the Syariah Criminal Offences Act (SCOA). The “crimes” in this list are wide-ranging and not provided for in the Penal Code. They include failure to perform Friday prayers for men, consumption of intoxicating drinks, sexual intercourse out of wedlock, not fasting in Ramadan, and holding opinions contrary to official fatwa.
SIS’s position is that while several of these provisions might be considered personal sins under traditional Islamic jurisprudence, they should not be turned into crimes against the state. Furthermore, the catch-all nature in many of these provisions has given rise to numerous cases of abuse by the “Islamic” enforcers of these laws. The letters and statements in this section demonstrate our continuing engagement with these issues within the Malaysian context.