| James Kon |
TO BETTER understand the newly-implemented first phase of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, the Philippines Embassy in Brunei Darussalam yesterday launched a ‘Guide to Syariah Penal Code’ book (photo below), which is a simplified version, for Filipinos residing in the country.
A ceremony was held for the launching of the Syariah Penal Code booklet as well as an exhibition of products from the Philippines. In addition, a special lecture on human trafficking also took place at the Philippine Chancery and was officiated by the Philippines Ambassador, Nestor Z Ochoa and his wife, Mayie E Ochoa.
Regarding the booklet, the ambassador in his speech said, “This is an initiative of the Philippines embassy in its commitment to increase the understanding of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 among Filipino nationals in Brunei.”
Currently, there are around 22,000 Filipinos residing in the country and are also the largest non-Muslim expatriate community in Brunei. “Filcom (Philippines Community) members are mostly unfamiliar with Al-Quran and Sunnahs, from which the offences and punishments under the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 are derived.
“We are a law abiding people and respectful of the customs and laws of other cultures, hence the launch of the booklet for everyone’s reference and information. Although this book is not a comprehensive guide, it may be used as a general reference and convenient tool to better remember and understand Syariah Law.
Some 1,000 copies of the book are available to be distributed to the Filipino community. The ambassador added that, “the book was done with the permission of the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei.”
The booklet, he said, “is about the first phase of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 and if the second phase is implemented, another booklet is expected to be published for the Filipino community. “We are also planning to translate the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 into Tagalog and we are still looking for experts to translate the content. The translation needs to be accurate because one wrongly translated word may change a meaning completely.”