Kelantan govt should amend its syariah criminal code in line with apex court's decision, says G25


PETALING JAYA: The Kelantan state government should amend its syariah criminal code following the Federal Court’s judgment on the validity of some of the state's syariah criminal provisions, says G25.

The civil society organisation reminded all parties that the courts were entrusted by law to interpret the Federal Constitution.

"G25 fervently hopes that the Kelantan state government will take the Federal Court’s judgment in the right spirit and do the needful to amend the State Syariah Criminal Code by deleting the impugned provisions; so as to make the State Enactment conform with the Federal Constitution.

"Every institution and every citizen must respect and abide by the Courts’ interpretation of the Federal Constitution.

"This is what the Rule of Law is all about," the group said in a statement on Saturday (Feb 10).

On Friday (Feb 9), the Federal Court ruled that 16 provisions of the Kelantan syariah state law were unconstitutional.

In an 8-1 majority decision, the apex court allowed the application by a mother and daughter duo who had challenged 18 provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019.

Unhappy with the verdict, PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said it was a "Black Friday" for syariah law.

The G25 said despite various politically fuelled suggestions, Malaysians should know that the case had nothing to do with undermining the religion of Islam.

"He (Takiyuddin) added that the decision would also threaten syariah laws. G25 views this as a highly provocative and dangerous statement, bordering on incitement.

"Being a lawyer and a former minister for legal affairs under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration, Takiyuddin should have known better.

"He ought to have advised the crowd to respect the judgment of the Federal Court and to take heed of the ruling instead of taking the opportunity to make the judgment a political issue," the group added.

Kelantan-born lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman had filed their challenge on May 25, 2022, at the Federal Court via Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution, naming the Kelantan state government as the respondent.

They argued that the 18 provisions, which included punishments for incest, gambling, necrophilia, sodomy, sexual harassment and others, were invalid as it was already covered by federal law.

They also argued that the power to legislate criminal matters belonged to Parliament, as state assemblies only had the right to enact laws concerning Islamic faith.

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Syariah Criminal Code , Kelantan , G25 ,

   

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