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Sabah assembly passes amendments to widen Shariah court powers on inheritance, strengthen fatwa procedures
Published on: Thursday, November 30, 2023
By: Malay Mail
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Sabah assembly passes amendments to widen Shariah court powers on inheritance, strengthen fatwa procedures
Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Council chairman Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif said that the amendments were in relation to the position of the mufti and deputy mufti, and to increase the number of people in the state fatwa council among others.
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Legislative Assembly today passed two Bills to boost the Shariah courts’ jurisdiction over Muslim inheritance matters and the state fatwa council.

Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Council chairman Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif said that the amendments were in relation to the position of the mufti and deputy mufti, and to increase the number of people in the state fatwa council among others.

“It is aimed at improving provision to vacate the position of mufti and deputy mufti and also several inclusions that affect the power of the mufti to issue fatwas,” he said.

According to the Bill, the positions of the mufti and deputy mufti can be declared vacant if either of them do not attend the state fatwa council meetings for three consecutive times without approval from the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

Other conditions for the position to be declared vacant is if the office-bearer is not in Malaysia for more than three months without approval; if his conduct tarnishes the position; or if he acts against the interest of the state.

Another amendment seeks to allow the deputy mufti to conduct meetings in the absence of the mufti while another seeks to ratify the procedure in making a fatwa.

The amendment also replaces the words “National Fatwa Committee” with “Muzakarah committee”.

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