RUU355 to be presented to states before tabling in Dewan Rakyat, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355) is to be presented to the states at the Islamic and Civil Law Coordinating Conference scheduled to be held from Oct 12 to 14 prior to its tabling in the Dewan Rakyat, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

In a parliamentary written reply, the Prime Minister said throughout 2020 and 2021, the government, through the Islamic and Civil Law technical committee formed by the Rulers Conference at a National Ceremony for Islamic Affairs (MKI), had a series of meeting to discuss RUU355 from various aspects, particularly the legislation and constitutional aspect, bills and hukum syarak (Islamic laws) so that RUU355 is more comprehensive and able to empower the Syariah Court.

"When RUU355 is finalised, then the government Bill will be presented to the states at the Islamic and Civil Law Coordinating Conference.

“This conference is one of the few forms of negotiations and discussions to be held with the states,” said the Prime Minister in reply to a question from Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PAS-Dungun), who asked on the latest status of RUU355 with the state governments.

RUU355 was previously tabled by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as a private members bill for first reading on May 26, 2016.

The Bill sought to increase the maximum punishment in the Syariah Court to 30 years' jail, fines of up to RM100,000 and 100 strokes of the cane.

The present punishment for syariah offenders is capped at three years' jail, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.

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