Sunday, 21 October 2012

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

The crime rate for burglaries or any other henious crimes  in most countries are on the rise and lawmakers should do their utmost best to incriminate the perpetrators to serve as an example for others not to indulge in a life of crime.

Therefore,   the death sentence that had been imposed on two Indonesian brothers charged with killing a 26-year-old burglar who had broken into a shophouse in Sepang on 3rd December 2010 is totally inappropriate because surely victims have the right in law to defend oneself against crime? Or is this a signal from the people who are well-versed in law to discourage people to defend themselves from crimes and should just let them be robbed by any Tom,  Dick or Harry.

Victims should not defend themselves for when they do,  then they will be charged instead if bad things happened to the 'would-be-criminal"?

If one will be punished by law if one takes action to defend oneself against criminals,  surely this will be a deterrence for victims to do anything to defend themselves against criminals who will not mind hurting or even killing the victim to get what he wants.

In countries which applies Islamic Law,  the rate of theft is lower than the countries which do not apply Islamic Law.

"Crime in Saudi Arabia is relatively low when compared to some developed nations, but may be increasing due to higher levels of foreign workers and higher levels of unemployment among Saudi residents."— John Wilson, on the crime situation in Saudi Arabia, in the book International Security and the United States: An Encyclopedia

There are 3 types of law;  namely the Common Law,  Malaysian Law and Islamic Law.

Under the Common Law,  the basic definition of theft as is provided in Section 1 (1) Theft Act 1868. This section provides: “A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving other of it.”

Under the Malaysian Law,  the definition of theft in the Malaysian Penal Code; Section 378 of the Penal Code provides: “Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, move that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft.”

The definition of the nature and scope of theft according to Islamic Law is “Taking other’s property without their consent.”

For instance,  nowadays we can read about the horrifying experiences of snatch theft victim's where many of them suffer dire consequences due to the lackadaisical attitude of the snatch thieves.  Many are dead due to their heads were knocked to the tarred road after their bags were snatched mercilessly,  some in coma which left the families of the victims suffering in pain because of the criminal act.

In Islam,  there are Hudud Laws,  Qisas and Takzir.

Hudud Laws on crimes for capital punishment includes apostasy, adultery, and sodomy.  Qisas is 'an eye for an eye' retaliatory punishments which include murder.  Families of someone murdered can choose between demanding the death penalty or granting clemency in return for a payment of diyya, or blood money, by the perpetrator.

Takzir is a general category, including crimes defined by national regulations some of which can be punished by death, such as drug trafficking.

Therefore,  in conclusion the death sentence imposed on the duo Indonesian brothers charged with killing a burglar surely have reasonable doubts because they did not do it on purpose but only to defend themselves against a person who might as well caused them to die in the case of the burglar if ever it took place.

Their defence attorney should re-appeal and challenge the death sentence.

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