KUALA LUMPUR: A call by a group of civil servants to debate the application of Islamic laws in the country has gained support from among several Muslim MPs.
They feel there was, at the moment, not enough discourse on the matter.
Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (BN-Pulai) said a debate – and even a review – was welcome as many people were confused over the use of civil and Islamic laws and this had also started to affect non-Muslim sensitivities.
“We need to review the civil and Syariah laws and get them to be consistent with the Federal Constitution,” Nur Jazlan, who is the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee chairman, said.
He was commenting on a letter signed by 25 top former civil servants and officials who called for a debate on the issue in the face of discrepancies on legal proceedings involving Syariah and civil laws.
Nur Jazlan advised the Attorney-General’s Chambers to “get its act together” and make sure that this was done.
“It should be clearly defined to the people what the country’s framework of jurisprudence is – secular or Islamic?” he said.
Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa (PAS-Parit Buntar) said any change to the law has to be done in “as democratic and transparent way” as possible.
Saying he was all right with an open debate on Islamic law, he stressed Syariah matters needed to fall within the bounds of the Federal Constitution.
“In addressing the issue, especially for non-Muslims, it has to be done in a proper manner so that it does not intrude into the zone of sensitivity,” he said.
Khalid Samad (PAS-Shah Alam) said he supported any attempt to raise awareness and understanding within both non-Muslim and Muslim communities on the issue.
“Proper discourse should be done, and they’re not being done in an effective and intellectual manner,” he said.
He added that certain groups and politicians were creating fear and misunderstanding, and that there was no responsible debate on Islamic law.
“Increasing understanding and awareness is a prerequisite (in society),” he said.