Better to stick with English law
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 07:49am
Star (Letters Section) (Used by permission)
Jason Lai Kuan Han, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
I REFER to “Time to Malaysianise common law system” by Dr Wan
Azhar Wan Ahmad (The Star, Sept 18).
True, we should be independent and stand on our own feet, but how true is it
that all Malaysians are truly independent to support ourselves and strive for
excellence for the good of the country?
Is it good or bad to be temporarily dependent on others? Why can’t we not stick
with English Common Law (ECL) as we continue to establish as a nation?
I believe it is not the right time to do away with the ECL as our country’s
judicial body is not sufficiently mature enough. British civilisation was
established years before our independence. It is better to learn from others who
have far more experience than we do, rather than jump the gun and run into
I would also say Dr Wan Azhar has a biased view on this implementation.
Firstly, he states that “Islam is theologically distinct from other religions”
and in a later sentence says that “it has a lot in common with other major
religions (in reference to worldview)”.
Dr Wan Azhar has to be clear that a religion’s worldview is very much shaped by
its own theological stands, otherwise by what means is Islam’s worldview shaped?
Secondly, he says: “Any one religious theological teaching upon the followers of
other religions must never be part of that consideration”.
I agree with the statement, but I think he does not because he continues in the
next paragraph: “For a common law system in our pluralistic society ... the
basis should be Islam, and arguably to a lesser extent, Malay customs.”
He writes that Islam has distinct theological teachings and now he proposes that
it should be implemented in our pluralistic society?
Although he has the courtesy to include other religions, he must understand that
the term he used is the “basis” for Islam teachings to be implemented, which
hints that the Common Law should revolve around Islam and only similar teachings
(if there are any, since Islam is distinct) of other religions should be
I hope that if there are plans to do away with the ECL, it is done with
sufficient research and study. Since the impact on the people will be great,
make sure that everyone understands the direct and indirect implications of such
a move, and ascertain that everyone is in agreement with it.