IAIS Malaysia

Past Events

Public Talk on Hudud Law by YABhg. Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad

Public Talk on Hudud Law by YABhg. Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad, Former Chief Justice of Malaysia

Day/Date/Time: Tuesday, 11 February 2014, 10:30am

Venue: International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia


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About the Speaker

Tun Abdul Hamid has spent 40 years of his life in the Judicial and Legal Service and as Judge of all the courts in the country including the Special Court and the Shari’ah Court of Appeal for the State of Penang, beginning his career as a Magistrate and retiring as the Chief Justice of Malaysia. He had written 567 judgments of the Superior Courts, including one judgment each of the Special Court and of the Shari’ah Court of Appeal. Most of them have been published in the law reports. He was involved in the drafting of the laws for use in the Shari’ah Courts in Malaysia since 1980s. He also served as a consultant to Law Harmonisation Committee of Brunei Darussalam. He had also written, delivered or published not less than 170 speeches, lectures, articles and working papers. Most of his judgments, speeches, lectures, articles and working papers are also available on his website: http://www.tunabdulhamid.my  

Currently, he is Chairman of the Law Harmonization Committee for Islamic Finance, Bank Negara Malaysia, a member of the Shari’ah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia as well as of the Securities Commission Malaysia.


10:00am – 10:30am Registration of participants

10:30am – 10:35am Welcoming Remarks by the Moderator, Associate Professor Dr. Mohamed Azam bin Mohamed Adil, Deputy CEO, IAIS Malaysia

10:35am – 10:40am Opening Remarks by, Professor Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Founding Chairman and CEO, IAIS Malaysia

10:40am – 11:40am Presentation by YBhg. Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad – “Implementation of Hudud in Brunei Darussalam: Differences between Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia”

11:40am – 12.30pm    Q&A session    

12:30pm Concluding remarks by the moderator and adjourn the talk


Download Paper Presentation (below)


In late 2013, the government of Brunei passed laws to introduce hudud and qisas punishments in the country. Former Chief Justice of Malaysia (2007-2008), Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad assessed the possibility of the Brunei experience being replicated in Malaysia and concluded in the negative. Brunei, in sharp contrast with Malaysia’s federalism and constitutionalism, is an absolute monarchy with a unitary state minus political parties let alone opposition. This allowed for the Sultan’s decree to be given direct implementation – not so in Malaysia where legal and constitutional impediments are in place. Among others, criminal matters fall within the ambit of federal rather than state jurisdiction, and consequently due regard must be paid to the rights of non-Muslims to practice their own religion. Nevertheless, nothing in the law or constitution precludes the possibility of a constitutional amendment. The oft-quoted case of Che Omar bin Che Soh v Public Prosecutor which has often been invoked to justify claims about the so-called “secularity” of Malaysia in fact does not establish that claim. For indeed, the constitution itself has clearly spelled out the manner of its own amendment, which neither the judiciary nor executive can by-pass to declare that it can’t now be amended. Having thus argued that there are no legal or constitutional impediments to enacting hudud law in Malaysia, Tun Abdul Hamid nevertheless maintained that there may be socio-political reasons for not doing so.

Media Coverage of the event

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Contact Information

International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia
Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-7956 9188  Fax: +603-7956 2188 / +603-7956 2966  Email: reply@iais.org.my

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