“Dark day for country’s Syariah judicial system,” laments PAS leader after apex court ruling

PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan has called the Federal Court’s decision to annul 16 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019 as a “dark day in history for Muslims” in the country.

Speaking to reporters outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya this morning, Takiyuddin said the apex court’s decision is also capable of endangering Shariah enactments in other states.

“We are very saddened today. This is a ‘Black Friday’ for shariah law, that’s all we can say. When a state’s Shariah criminal law is annulled, it puts the law in 14 other states in a precarious position,” he was reported as saying.

“If someone, for example in Negri Sembilan or Melaka, is accused of a crime, such as sodomy, then they will bring this case to court and say that in Kelantan, the same offence has been annulled.

“Therefore, no one can be tried in the Shariah court for that offence. This is why we are emotional, because this is not a trivial matter. Defending Shariah (law) means upholding the institution of the Malay rulers.”

The Kota Bharu MP said he also expected many fellow MPs to raise questions about the Federal Court’s decision in the upcoming session of the Dewan Rakyat.

In a speech before more than 1,000 supporters gathered outside the Palace of Justice earlier, the PAS leader said that today’s decision should serve as a lesson for Muslims.

He added that he hoped all parties, including the government, will ensure that Islamic laws are upheld.

Takiyuddin went on to question the implication of Shariah enactments being annulled by the civil court.

“Shariah laws are only applied in the Shariah court but (now) annulled by the civil court. What does that mean? That is our stance (on the matter),” he stressed.

“Islam is the national religion but at the state level, the Shariah laws have been annulled by the civil court. We as, Muslim citizens living in our country, must ensure that shariah laws are upheld.”

Earlier today (Feb 9), a nine-person bench chaired by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat in an 8-1 split majority decision allowed lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman’s petition.

The family was challenging the constitutionality of 18 provisions in Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019.

The apex court, however, only allowed 16 out of the 18 to be invalidated.

Among the invalidated provisions are destroying a place of worship (Section 11), sodomy (Section 14), necrophiliac sexual intercourse (Section 16), bestiality (Section 17), and sexual harassment (Section 31).

Other struck down controversial Kelantan syariah criminal offences are possessing false documents and giving false information (Section 34), intoxication (Section 36), reducing scale measurement (Section 39), transactions that go against hukum syarak (Section 40), carrying out transactions involving usury (Section 41), and abuse of halal label (Section 42).

The remainder of subject matters criminalised under religious law by the state legislature are offering or providing vice service (Section 43), preparing to offer or provide vice service (Section 44), preparing to indulge in vice (Section 45), incest (Section 47), and muncikari or person acting as an intermediary between two people for certain offences (Section 48).

The provisions the Federal Court did not allow in the duo’s bid to nullify are giving away a child to a non-Muslim or morally corrupt Muslim (Section 13), and words that break the peace (Section 30). – Feb 9, 2024


Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia

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