KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr. Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said the decision made by the Federal Court today (Friday) over a constitutional challenge to the Kelantan Syariah law did not affect the position of the Syariah Court in the country.
Mohd. Na’im who is also the former Chief Syariah Judge said, the position of the Syariah Court in Malaysia remained intact as guaranteed in the constitution.
The Federal Court in an 8-1 majority decision today ruled that 16 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019 as null and void. The landmark decision was delivered by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who led a panel of nine judges after allowing an application by Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid, who hails from Kelantan, and her daughter, Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Abdul Rahman, to challenge the constitutionality and legality of 18 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (1) Enactment 2019.
The two women claimed that the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly (DUN) does not have the authority to legislate on the 18 offences because there is a Federal law that covers such offences.
They filed the petition to the Federal Court under Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution and named the Kelantan government as the sole respondent.
“As an immediate action I have instructed the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) together with the Department of Syariah Judiciary Malaysia (JKSM) to get the written judgment of the case aimed for research and further plans.
“Several adjustments on the plan and the existing programme will be implemented in line with the decision. All opportunities and room that exist will be for the empowerment of the Syariah Court that will be implemented,” he said in a statement today.
According to the minister, he will immediately request for an audience with His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim and Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah to present the related matter.
“I will also request for an audience with Sultan Selangor as the Chairman of the Malaysian National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) and the Conference of Rulers to present the matter,’’ he added.
In the meantime, Mohd Na’im said the Special Committee to Review the Competency of the State Legislature to Enact Islamic Law will study issues related to the competency of the State Legislative Assemblies, as well as the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court as provided under item 1, List II-State List, Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
“The results of the study, views and recommendations by the Special Committee will be presented to the Malaysian National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) and the Conference of Rulers,” he said. –Malaysia World News