‘Respect the Federal Court ruling’

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians should respect the Federal Court ruling on the Kelantan syariah code and uphold the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the country, says Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The Sultan of Selangor said all parties should remain calm and avoid causing any disturbances while waiting for the outcome of a special committee to study the competency of state legislative assemblies in enacting Islamic laws.

“I would like to advise the Muslim community in this country, especially Muslim scholars and Islamic thinkers, to always maintain decorum in expressing their views to avoid confusion among Muslims,” he said in a statement after chairing the 71st National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.

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The Selangor Ruler is the MKI chairman.

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 because the state legislature did not have the power to enact laws on the said offences since there were federal laws covering such acts.

The Sultan of Selangor said various parties such as politicians, legal experts, academicians and even the public had given their comments and interpretations of the court decision.

“Some comments provided actual explanations of the court verdict.

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“However, there were some comments that were based on polemics of certain parties, leading to confusion among the Muslims in the country.”

His Royal Highness made clear that he has no intention of getting involved in that polemic.

“I have been informed that the special committee, established following my decree during the 70th MKI meeting on Aug 28, is currently examining this issue,” said the Sultan of Selangor.

His Royal Highness said there is no need to openly argue matters that can be resolved through consultation and behind closed doors.

“... It is my hope that my suggestions and advice will be taken as guidance towards unity and the well-being of the Muslim community in this country,” said Tuanku.

His Royal Highness said Muslims are aware that religious issues have been politicised over the past few decades.

“In fact, it has become increasingly serious in recent times.

“Let us stop quarrelling over religious matters. It is time for all Muslims to unite for the strength of the Muslim community,” the Sultan said.

Tuanku said the administration of the Muslim religion in this country should be free from the influence of partisan politics, and the politicisation of every religious matter should be avoided.

Sultan Sharafuddin said his advice is not directed at any particular party but rather a reminder to all politicians not to take advantage of every issue involving Islamic matters, until it becomes a tool for endless political disputes.

“Religious issues can be sensitive to Muslims, so let us refrain from accusing each other on religious issues that, fundamentally, we can resolve together,” added Tuanku.

Sultan Sharafuddin said that what is more important is to find ways to address the challenges by examining methods to expand the competence of state legislative bodies to enact syariah criminal laws within the framework set by the Federal Constitution.

“The efforts include whether there is a need to propose certain amendments to certain provisions of the Constitution or the related federal laws.

“This is to ensure that the power of the state legislative assembly to enact syariah criminal laws is clearly outlined and enshrined in the Constitution without any ambiguity,” said the Sultan of Selangor.

His Royal Highness also said that the special committee has been given a year from the date of its establishment to provide recommendations to MKI, which will be subsequently raised to the Conference of Rulers for the matter to be reviewed and deliberated.

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