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Provisions in shariah criminal laws in all states, except Kelantan, valid and can be enforced, Parliament told

Publish date: Tue, 27 Feb 2024, 04:49 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 27): Provisions in the shariah criminal laws in all states, except Kelantan, are valid and constitutional and can be enforced, even though the Federal Court has declared 16 provisions in the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code (1)  Enactment 2019 as null and void.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Dr Zulkifli Hasan said the laws are valid as long as the constitutionality and legality of the provisions are not challenged and they are not declared invalid and unconstitutional.

He said the ruling by the Federal Court only involved 16 of the 18 provisions of offences in the Kelantan Shariah Penal Code (1) Enactment 2019, but not the shariah laws in other states.

"However, can the federal government order the states to amend their shariah laws? Based on Clause 2 of Article 74, and Item I of List II of the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, Islamic religious affairs are under the jurisdiction of the states.

“So, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the sultans are the main authorities that need to be protected and they need to give their consent on the advice of the State Islamic Religious Council," he said.

He said this during the question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu).

In the original question to the Prime Minister, Takiyuddin had asked about efforts taken by the government to protect the validity of the State Shariah Enactment Law, especially against planned strategic litigation attacks.

According to Zulkifl, the government had formed a special committee to study issues related to the competency of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) to enact Islamic law, which had submitted its first report.

The first report was sent to the  National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs on Feb 15 and a comprehensive solution to the issue is expected to be obtained within a year, he said.

The government, he said, is always committed to upholding shariah law in Malaysia in line with the Religious Affairs Transformation Plan Towards Malaysia Madani 2023-2027.

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