Syariah provision introduced in K'tan reflected the will of its people, says Pasir Gudang MP

PETALING JAYA: The Syariah provision under the 2019 Kelantan Criminal Enactment was introduced in Kelantan due to the manifestation and the will of the majority of Kelantanese, says Hassan Abdul Karim.

The PKR Pasir Gudang MP said Kelantan's unique political, cultural and historical background must be taken into consideration when assessing the validity of the state’s Syariah provisions.

"I believe they (Kelantan assemblymen) were fully aware because the state government is not naive and would not blindly table the enactment in their state assembly.

"The PAS Kelantan government is an experienced government that has been ruling the state for years.

"Behind the Kelantan state government, there are legal advisors who are knowledgeable and understand the Federal Constitution.

"Over 90% of the population of Kelantan are Malay Muslims. For more than 33 years, they have chosen PAS, an Islamist party with an agenda to strengthen Islamic syariah law in the state, through democratic elections, not through coercion or force," he said in a posting on Monday (Feb 12).

On Friday (Feb 9), the Federal Court, in an 8-1 majority decision, ruled that 16 provisions for offences under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (1) 2019 were null and void because the state legislature did not have the power to enact laws on said offences because there were federal laws covering the same offences.

"So when the Kelantan Mentri Besar, its assemblymen, and the legal advisors of Kelantan know the risks and possibilities of the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment being challenged in court and annulled, why do they insist on continuing the enactment?

Hassan said the 2019 Kelantan Criminal Enactment was a manifestation of the fundamental desire of the majority of the people of Kelantan, who had chosen the Islamic government led by PAS in eight consecutive general elections (in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2008, 2013, 2018, and 2022).

"We can agree and respect the Federal Constitution and the decision of the Federal Court.

"However, I - who is not a member of PAS but a PKR MP whose ideology is multiracial and multireligious - believe that we should be fair to not only the PAS government in Kelantan but the majority of the Kelantan people who want the Islamic declaration to be upheld in their state," he added.

While the two petitioners had won and the Kelantan state government had lost, Hassan said that did not mean the controversy would subside and the issue would be put to bed.

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