The Jakarta Post
The fundamental rule in removing a limb of those convicted of theft under the hudud penal code is that a sharp instrument must be used and a guillotine, therefore, is not out of place, says an Islamic faith healing practitioner here.
'Hudud was enforced during the times of Prophet Muhammad and it was effective in protecting the lives of Muslims then.
'If it is enforced here in Kelantan, it must go along with the principle that a sharp blade is to be used and those authorised to carry out the punishment must follow the stipulated etiquette that goes with the responsibility,' said At-Tobibi Nilai Islamic Healing Centre founder Shamsuri Shafei.
'It is entirely up to the Kelantan government to choose the most suitable method as long it is not cruel to the offender and his family.
'Whether the authorities use a machete, sword or even a guillotine, the fundamental law is that the instrument must be sharp,' he told The Star, adding that the offender should be conscious when the punishment is meted out so that he will feel remorse for committing the offence.
'Whatever decision is made by the authorities, it must be transparent,' said Shamsuri when asked to comment on the front-page exclusive in The Star yesterday that the guillotine might be an option if the Kelantan hudud technical committee cannot find a suitable mode of amputating limbs of convicted thieves and robbers under the state's proposed Islamic criminal laws.
Committee head Mohd Amar Abdullah said he would suggest to the panel to use a similar, albeit smaller, contraption that would need only one person to operate in the presence of a doctor and the judge who meted out the sentence.
Mohd Amar, who is also Kelantan deputy chief minister, said such a method would not implicate surgeons, who might be seen as violating their oath of ethics.
In a related development, Mohd Amar's office clarified that the report that quoted him on the guillotine mode was based on a phone interview with The Star.
His senior private secretary Mohd Khairil Hazmie said: 'What transpired in that phone conversation was that the reporter had raised the guillotine method based on 'public opinion'.
'Mohd Amar said the suggestion could be considered and discussed by the hudud technical committee after a study on is done,' Mohd Khairil said in a statement yesterday that has since been circulated via Facebook.
He added that the deputy mentri besar was concerned about negative perceptions that may arise because of the article.
Mohd Khairil said it was a mistake by the reporter to attribute the suggestion to Mohd Amar and any misunderstanding by the public over the issue could tarnish the image of the state, which was trying to educate the public to understand and accept hudud laws. (***)