DAP MP optimistic Shariah law committee won’t encroach on non-Muslim rights

BANGI MP Syahredzan Johan has voiced optimism regarding the competence and experience of the committee tasked with studying conflicts between Shariah law and the Federal Constitution.

He assured that the committee’s work would not infringe upon the rights of non-Muslims while emphasising the competency and expertise of the committee members in the field of constitutional law, expressing confidence in their ability to approach the matter objectively.

“They will look into the matter as objectively as possible. Their expertise will transcend their ethnicity and faith,” news portal Free Malaysia Today quoted the DAP MP as saying.

This statement followed a suggestion by Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham who proposed the inclusion of non-Muslim constitutional experts in the committee reviewing the jurisdiction of shariah courts, aligning them with the Federal Constitution.

However, this suggestion faced disagreement from UMNO secretary-general Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Duzuki, who argued it could lead to unwanted controversy.

Syahredzan concurred with Asyraf, noting that the committee’s primary focus was on the conflict of jurisdiction between federal and state laws, particularly concerning shariah law for individuals practicing Islam.

“From this perspective, the examination by the committee will be confined to matters pertaining to persons professing the religion of Islam and not, at least at this juncture, touching on the rights of non-Muslims,” he clarified.

Moreover, the non-binding nature of the committee’s recommendations on the Cabinet, Syahredzan noted that further engagement sessions are anticipated before any proposed changes are implemented.

“As such, we should allow the committee to continue with its mandated task since we all agree that the issue of this apparent jurisdictional conflict between the federation and the states must be resolved conclusively,” he further added. – Dec 29, 2023


Main photo credit: Bebas News

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