Syariah, civil courts should be equal, says Umno Youth chief

PETALING JAYA: It is about time the syariah and civil courts be equal, says the UMNO Youth chief.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (Feb 11), Dr Akmal Saleh said that laws that were in place before British rule had used Islam as their reference point in their creation.

“We urge all members of Parliament, be it from the government or the Opposition, to bring the matter of amending the Constitution to strengthen and empower the syariah courts,” he said.

He added that this would be supported by both sides of the political divide, especially Malay Muslims.

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

Earlier on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the decision concerns the legislative provisions passed by the Kelantan state legislative assembly (DUN) and did not touch on 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.