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MCCBCHST’s statement misleading: Naim
Published on: Sunday, April 07, 2024
By: Bernama
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MCCBCHST’s statement misleading: Naim
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar - pix Bernama
Kuala Lumpur: The statement of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) regarding the amendment of Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 [Act 355] is misleading and may create an atmosphere of disharmony in the country.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar, in a statement Saturday, advised all parties to uphold the decree of the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on Dec 29 last year that the people, especially those who are not Muslim, respect and not to interfere in matters related to Islamic religious affairs in Malaysia.

“All parties are urged not to make any ‘speculative’ and ‘pre-emptive’ statements in relation to the proposed amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 when it has not yet been tabled in Parliament.

“Once it is tabled, all Members of Parliament will be given sufficient space to debate this amendment,” he said.

Mohd Na’im also said all parties need to refer to Article 74(2) of the Federal Constitution which is read together with Item 1 of the State List of the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution which in accordance with the said provisions of Syariah Courts have been established through Acts/Enactments/Ordinances in the states.

According to him, for the purpose of dealing with offences under syariah law, the Syariah Court only has jurisdiction over Muslims and only in respect of all matters included in item 1 of the State List of the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

Syariah Courts have jurisdiction over offences to the extent provided by federal law as specified in item 1 of the State List of the Ninth Schedule to the Federal Constitution.

In line with this provision, Mohd Na’im said Parliament had formulated the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 which gave criminal jurisdiction to the Syariah Courts.

He said based on item 1 of the State List of the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, there are two main points outlined.

Firstly, the power of the State Legislature to enact laws to establish offences and punishments for offences committed by Muslims against Islamic religious orders, except for matters included in the Federal List.

Secondly, jurisdiction over punishment for offences provided for in State law shall be within the limits provided by federal law.

“This means the Federal Constitution empowers the State Legislature to enact laws in the states to create offences and punishments for offences by Muslims against the Islamic religious order, except for matters included in the Federal List.

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