Kelantan’s Hudud Technical Committee Mulling The Use of Guillotine For Individuals Convicted Under Hudud

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — After receiving rebuke from the medical fraternity over its proposal to amputate the limbs of criminals convicted under hudud, Kelantan is now mulling the use of the guillotine – an 18th century contraption used during the French revolution to carry out executions by beheading.

Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah told The Star that the state-level hudud technical committee is contemplating introducing a “mini version” of the apparatus, which he said would no longer need the services of surgeons.

Mohd Amar, who chairs the committee, conceded that medical practitioners are averse to the proposal of amputating limbs as it is in contrary to the Hippocratic Oath.

The Hippocratic Oath states, among others, that doctors must never do harm to anyone, and must do what is best for their patients.

“The surgeon must first agree to carry out the procedure but he is likely to face the wrath of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) for violating the Hippocratic Oath,” he was quoted saying in the local English daily.

In April, the MMA warned that it will seek to disqualify surgeons who perform the unethical amputations on criminals convicted under hudud, reminding doctors that they are bound by their professional ethics to do no harm.

The MMA represents 14,000 out of 37,000 doctors in Malaysia.

With the guillotine, however, Mohd Amar said punishments could be meted out effectively as the method is fast; it requires only one individual to pull the lever; two to hold down the convict; the presence of the judge who ordered the sentence; and a doctor to ensure the offender “does not drastically suffer from the punishments”.

“I will make extensive studies on the method used during the French Revolution in the 18th century when guillotines were used to sever the heads of those sentenced to death,” said Mohd Amar, adding that he will present his proposal to the hudud committee’s next meeting for feedback.

Mohd Amar has been steadfast in his opinion that amputations under hudud is a far more effective penalty compared to the existing Penal Code’s jail terms, as it does not burden taxpayers.

But the Kelantan state lawmaker added that due consideration would be given before sentences are meted out for offenders who steal due to hunger or other compelling circumstances.

In 1993, the PAS state government passed the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II, but the strict Islamic penal code has not been enforced due to conflicts with the Federal Constitution.

The state formed the technical committee after state government announced in April that it is gearing up present two Private Member’s Bills to Parliament, hoping to remove all obstacles to its implementation of the hudud law in Kelantan by 2015.

But PAS is facing unyielding resistance from its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners PKR and DAP, and has said it hopes to get the necessary votes from Umno MPs in order to get the bill approved. The Islamist party will need a simple majority of 112 votes for this.

In Islamic jurisprudence, “hudud” covers crimes such as theft, robbery, adultery, rape and sodomy.

Punishments for the crimes are severe, including amputation, flogging and death by stoning.



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