PUTRAJAYA: The government has given assurance that it will meticulously scrutinise the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 by taking into consideration the views of stakeholders.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said this would include the views of the non-Muslims even though the matter neither involved nor affected them as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
"The government welcomes any suggestions to empower and improve the Syariah Court institution, including the motion for a Private Member's Bill (to amend the Act) tabled by Marang Member of Parliament (Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang)," he said in a statement Thursday.
Jamil Khir said the government viewed seriously the motion brought forth by Abdul Hadi at the Dewan Rakyat earlier today, which seeks the approval of the house to table the pertinent Private Member's Bill to amend the Act 355.
He said the Act was first introduced by the government in 1965 before being amended in 1984 and expanded to Sabah and Sarawak in 1989.
"The government has remained committed and steadfast in upholding the status of Syariah Court. In fact, various efforts have been taken consistently in stages in a bid to empower Syariah Court in a holistic manner," he said.
The minister said among the efforts were by introducing designation schemes and providing periodical training to Syarie judges and officers to improve their professionalism; improving and upgrading Syariah Court's infrastructure and facilities; and other initiatives to improve the Syariah Court administration and operation. - Bernama
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