KUALA LUMPUR: The enforcement of Syariah criminal laws must strike a balance between retribution and the importance of rehabilitation, says Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said this was agreed by participants of a roundtable discussion which he attended here along with chief Syariah judges and Syariah enforcement officers from various states.
He said they agreed that repentance and reform should be key principles in the enforcement of Islamic criminal laws.
Another agreement reached during the roundtable discussion, said Dr Mujahid, was on the need to improve the procedures related to Syariah criminal offences.
"It is a new way forward for the enforcement of Syariah criminal laws so that it is not abused, misinterpreted where they spy on people (suspected of committing offences such as close proximity) without having any solid proof," Dr Mujahid said at a media conference after the roundtable discussion on Monday (Oct 8).
Organised by the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia (IAIS), the title of the roundtable discussion was: "Philosophy and procedures of Syariah criminal punishments towards achieving the aim of Compassion For All (Rahmatan Lil Alamin)."
Syariah judges, academicians, representatives from NGOS and other experts on Syariah criminal law attended the event.
"We may already have procedures, we need to improve them and this was agreed by all parties including the chief Syariah judges who are at the forefront of Syariah law in our country," said Dr Mujahid.
He said the Syariah enforcement officials also agreed on the concept of Rahmatan Lil Alamin (compassion for all) which the Government is promoting.
"Action such as gathering information (pengintipan) must be done based on solid basis and facts and clear confidence."
He said a follow up meeting with other ulama, intellectuals and NGOs on how to further improve the enforcement of Syariah criminal law will be done on Thursday (Oct 11) at Putrajaya.
Dr Mujahid said that he and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) would engage with state Islamic authorities on suggestions and improvement measures on the matter.
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