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SPECIAL COMMITTEE SET UP TO REVIEW COMPETENCY OF STATE ASSEMBLIES TO ENACT ISLAMIC LAWS

PUTRAJAYA, Former chief justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi has been appointed as the chairman of the Special Committee to Review the Competency of the State Legislative Assemblies (DUN) to Enact Islamic Laws which also comprises 10 other individuals.Among thos…

PUTRAJAYA, Former chief justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi has been appointed as the chairman of the Special Committee to Review the Competency of the State Legislative Assemblies (DUN) to Enact Islamic Laws which also comprises 10 other individuals.

Among those appointed as members of the special committee are former federal court judge Tan Sri Mohd Zawawi Salleh; Selangor Islamic Religious Council member Datuk Salehuddin Saidin; and Chief Syarie Judge of the Melaka State Syariah Court Datuk Mohd Nadzri Abdul Rahman.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar at the ceremony to hand over letters of appointment for the special committee here today said members of the committee had the credibility and possessed extensive expertise and experience in the legal field.

"This special committee is responsible for studying issues involving federal and state jurisdiction, particularly with the state assemblies’ competence concerning the drafting of Islamic laws and the jurisdiction of the Syariah court as provided for in the Federal Constitution," he said.

Mohd Na'im said the government heeded the call by the chairman of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI), the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, that a special committee be established to conduct an in-depth and critical study of the legal issues arising from the Federal Court's decision related to the competence of the state assembly within the framework set by the Federal Constitution.

He said the special committee was believed to be able to find the best and most harmonious way to resolve the conflict of jurisdiction between the civil court and the Syariah court.

"This is one of the government's efforts and commitments to resolve the conflict of jurisdiction between the Federation and the states and between the civil courts and the Syariah courts, in order to dignify and empower Syariah law and the Syariah judicial system in this country," he said.

Mohd Na'im in a press conference later said that the special committee would engage with the Islamic religious councils of the respective states to get their views, and the recommendations made would be submitted to the MKI, and subsequently to the Council of Rulers for approval.

"This special committee will look at and refine all matters involving overlaps between the Syariah and civil courts, including issues involving religious conversion, property, inheritance claims, wills and so on," he said.

He said the committee would examine the reasons for the judgment not only in the Iki Putra Mubarak case but also in the case of Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid.

In the case of Iki Putra Mubarak, the media reported that he was charged in the Syariah court on Aug 21, 2019, with committing sodomy in Bangi, Selangor, but due to his dissatisfaction with the charge, he challenged the provision of Section 28 of the Selangor Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1995 by claiming that the state or Syariah courts do not have jurisdiction to enact and try sodomy cases.

On Feb 25, 2021, the Federal Court unanimously allowed the legal challenge by Iki Putra against Section 28 of the EJSS 1995, while also setting aside the Selangor Syariah law that stipulates unnatural sex as a crime.

Nik Elin Zurina is reported to have requested the Federal Court to declare that 20 sections of Syariah criminal offences in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (I) 2019, are null and void, in addition to requesting the court to declare that the Kelantan State Assembly does not have the authority to make enactments related to Syariah criminal offences that apply to Muslims only.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency