PAS moves to consolidate federal, state syariah laws

PETALING JAYA: A Private Member’s Bill which seeks to amend the Federal Constitution are among the moves that will be taken by PAS to “empower” the syariah law system following the Federal Court’s decision last week to strike out several provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code.

The party is also preparing a memorandum that will be submitted to the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia (MKI) which is headed by Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The party’s attempts follows the apex court’s 8-1 decision to strike out 16 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019 as unconstitutional.

“A convention to consolidate the syariah laws at the state and federal level will also be held in Kelantan and hosted by the Kelantan government on Feb 24,” said PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (pic).

“Various papers on civil and syariah laws would be presented at the convention which will be attended by officers in charge of religious affairs, civil servants and law practitioners,” he told reporters after a roundtable meeting between PAS leaders and law practitioners at the party’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

He said PAS also decided that a memorandum which will include proposals to consolidate syariah laws would be presented to the MKI.

“PAS requests that state representatives be included in MKI during discussions on the consolidation of syariah laws and empowerment as this issue affects the states’ jurisdictions,” Takiyuddin added.

Kelantan state assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Mohd Amar Abdullah, who was also present at the press conference, said PAS intends to table the Private Members Bill at the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting on Feb 26.

He called on all Muslim MPs to support the Bill.

PAS has formed four action committees to coordinate these efforts – Research and Documentation, Strategic Communications, Syariah Defence Mobilisation and Cross-party Concerted Action.

These bodies will each be headed by lawyer Yusfarizal Yusuf, Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, Amar and Bagan Serai MP Datuk Idris Ahmad respectively.

“These action committees will make the effort to find steps to consolidate and empower the syariah courts and syariah laws in the country,” said Idris, who also hoped that these efforts would get the support of all parties.

In the Feb 9 decision, Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who chaired a panel of nine judges, ruled that the 16 provisions were null and void as the offences they covered were already in federal laws.

The 16 are Sections 11, 14, 16, 17, 31, 34, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48 which covered offences such as gambling, providing vice, incest, sodomy and giving false evidence.

The sole dissenting judgment came from Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli who questioned the locus standi of the applicants.

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