Women judges in syariah cases to fight gender bias

  • Letters
  • Monday, 27 Jan 2003

From the Malay Press:

THE Government is recommending that women judges be appointed in syariah courts to overcome numerous complaints against the decisions made by men judges, reported Mingguan Malaysia

The complaints, said parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Noh Omar, were by women who felt that men judges were biased. 

He said the move would appease women, and at the same time said that decisions made by syariah judges were accurate and in line with syariah laws. 

The highest post held now by women in the syariah court system is that of a mediator or pegawai sulh, who looks into cases and mediates between two parties so that the matter could be resolved out of court. 

Noh said the women judges, however, would only preside over Islamic family cases and not criminal cases. 

Mingguan Malaysia quoted him as saying that the matter needed to be fully studied before any appointment could be made as they had to determine the suitability of women holding such posts in Islam. 

Berita Minggu reported that the Home Ministry had come across a new tactic by VCD and DVD pirates, who had begun selling their products openly in front of gaming outlets. 

It said the syndicates were selling mainly pornographic VCDs and DVDs at the gaming outlets to attract gullible buyers, who were also diehard punters. 

Berita Minggu quoted the Home Ministry's chief of enforcement unit, Supt Mohd Sukor Abdul Hamid as saying that while sale of pornographic material was reduced after repeated raids, the syndicates had opted to sell them openly near gaming shops. 

The new tactic is said to have surfaced about six months ago in Selayang, Batu Caves, Seri Kembangan and Kajang.  

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