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Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment in Perak still valid — Saarani

Publish date: Thu, 29 Feb 2024, 10:39 PM

IPOH (Feb 29): The Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment in Perak remains valid and constitutional unless challenged and declared null and void.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said that the decision of the Federal Court regarding the controversy over the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (I) 2019 does not affect the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment in other states at all.

"The Chief Justice has emphasised that the court's decision on this matter is a constitutional issue and has no relevance to the position of Islam or the Shariah Court in this country," he said while winding up debate on the royal address at the state legislative assembly (DUN) sitting here on Thursday.

He said any amendments to shariah laws, including the state Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment, must first obtain the consent of the Sultan of Perak.

He added that the state government is always committed to upholding the judiciary and shariah legislation comprehensively by taking into account the views of all parties and stakeholders.

Saarani (BN-Kota Tampan) explained that currently, there is a committee responsible for reviewing, drafting or improving shariah laws at the state level, namely the Syariah Legislation Formulation Committee under the Perak Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MAIPk).

He said the committee is jointly chaired by the chairman of the Perak Islamic Religious Department and the State Legal Adviser and is composed of experts in law and Islamic law.

"This includes the state mufti, Chief Syariah Judge, academics and legal practitioners who have been appointed," he said.

He added that to ensure that the provisions of the law can be implemented effectively in terms of substance and procedure, related religious agencies such as the State Legal Adviser's Office, State Syariah Courts, State Syariah Prosecution Department and State Islamic Religious Department hold regular coordination meetings.

At the same time, Saarani said the total number of officers and assistant officers of the Religious Enforcement Officers (PPA) in Perak remains at 60 people, comprising six officers and 54 members.

He said the enforcement tasks are aided by 101 voluntary religious enforcement officers, with one to four religious enforcement officers stationed in each district depending on the population density.

He stated that currently, assistant religious enforcement officers have no issues performing their duties effectively and any future addition of voluntary religious enforcement officers will be based on current needs, taking into account the financial implications borne by the state government.

Meanwhile, Saarani explained that they are retracting the food basket distribution facility through the state assemblyman (ADUN) service centre and handing it back to the Perak Foundation to be distributed through appointed non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

He said this decision was made following some opposition and government ADUN service centres using their stickers as if the food baskets came from those service centres, which is a misrepresentation.

"The Perak Foundation will release a list of NGOs involved in distribution so that the public can identify them," he said.

He added that the Perak Foundation must ensure that all involved NGOs deliver food baskest with trust and responsibility and that the state government will not hesitate to revoke the accreditation given to such NGOs if they are found to violate set standard operating procedures.

The Perak state legislative assembly meeting, which lasted only about three and a half hours on Thursday, was sine die.

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