Selangor Ruler's decree will cool rising heat over apex court ruling, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The decree by Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah could put to rest political criticisms of the Federal Court ruling involving the Kelantan syariah criminal enactment, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister, in his speech at a Chinese New Year celebration on Thursday (Feb 15), said the decree by Sultan Sharafuddin, who is also the Malaysian National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) chairman, for all parties to respect the decision by the apex court, will help cool down the rising political temperature.

“The decree reflects the seriousness of the Sultan of Selangor and MKI to defend the spirit and principles of the Federal Constitution.

“If there are any proposals and calls for action (to strengthen the syariah laws in the country), please refer to the committee (Special Committee to Review the Competency of the State Legislative Assemblies to Enact Islamic Laws.)

“Former chief justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi has been appointed to chair the special committee and review any issues raised by the states over the matter,” Anwar said at an event hosted by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) at a hotel here.

Earlier Thursday, Sultan Sharafuddin, in a statement, said all parties should respect the ruling of the Federal Court and the position of the Federal Constitution.

“What is more important is for us to find a way to overcome the matter by studying ways to expand the state assemblies’ competency to enact syariah criminal laws within the framework of the constitution,” he said.

On 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 on the grounds that the state legislature did not have the power to enact laws on said offences because there were federal laws covering the same offences.

The Federal Court made the ruling after allowing a petition filed by Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter, Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Abdul Rahman, to challenge the constitutionality and legality of 18 provisions of offences under the enactment.

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