Conference of Rulers-approved Special committee to boost Syariah courts, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: A special committee consented to by the Conference of Rulers will be set up to empower and elevate the country’s Syariah Courts, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat that the special committee would be established under the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs and is responsible for reviewing the authority of the Syariah courts so it can enhance the jurisdiction of the courts.

"The special committee is responsible for examining and fine-tuning issues related to the competence of the state legislative assembly regarding the enactment of Islamic law and the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court,” said Anwar.

“The committee will take this into consideration in their study so any decisions would not offend or coerce the non-Muslims,” he added during the Prime Minister’s Question Time on Tuesday (Nov 21).

Anwar was replying to a question from Mohd Azizi bin Abu Naim (PN-Gua Musang) on the Federal Government's stance on the notice of petition filed by Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter.

The legal action by the two is seen as an attempt to challenge the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019.

Mohd Azizi had also asked Anwar to state the efforts by the government to safeguard Syariah-related laws.

Following the legal matter, Anwar said the government would respect the decision by the Federal Court and Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat as it is an ongoing case.

However, he is of the view that the case does not deter the special committee’s review and discussion with experts.

“The Federal Court can rule on the matter based on their decision whether it falls under Federal or state jurisdiction.

“Aside from the ruling, it does not hinder the government with the consent of the Malay Rulers to conduct a review and discuss with muftis, ulama and all relevant parties that can provide their views so that the legislation that can be implemented will work to empower the Syariah Courts,” he said.

When Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu) asked about the details of the special committee, Anwar said the council members had been approved by the Conference of Rulers two weeks ago.

"This is one of the efforts carried out in line with the order of His Majesty the Sultan of Selangor during the MKI meeting on August 28,” he said.

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