Do not politicise Federal Court's ruling on Kelantan Syariah code, says Zahid

BAGAN DATUK: The Federal Court’s decision to strike down 16 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (1) 2019 on Friday (Feb 9) should not be politicised, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this is because the decision concerns the legislative provisions passed by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly (DUN) and not the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

At the same time, he was agreeable to a discussion between Muslim MPs to empower Syariah laws on the condition that the parties involved do not politicise the matter.

“Discussions can be held, but we must look into the issue of determining ideas and not make politics the main agenda or only call for Muslims to discuss this matter when it is already too late,” he said after visiting his adoptive family in conjunction with Chinese New Year on Sunday (Feb 11).

Zahid, also Bagan Datuk MP, was responding to Kelantan Pas Deputy Commissioner II, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah’s invitation to all parties, especially Muslim MPs, to discuss how Syariah laws can be strengthened.

On Friday (Feb 9), the Federal Court, in an 8-1 majority decision, ruled that 16 provisions of offences under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment (1) 2019, were null and void on the grounds that the State Legislature did not have the power to enact laws on said offences because there were federal laws covering the same offences.

The Federal Court made the ruling after allowing a petition filed by Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter, Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Abdul Rahman, to challenge the constitutionality and legality of 18 provisions of offences under the enactment.

Asked if the Cabinet would hold a meeting following the Federal Court’s decision, Zahid said there were no plans so far to raise the matter in the Cabinet. – Bernama