Islamic laws must fall in line with Federal Constitution, Putrajaya says


(Malay Mail Online) – Any move to implement a Shariah criminal law must abide by the Federal Constitution and correspond with existing laws to fulfill the principles of justice and fairness, a senior minister said today.

Minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the onus falls on the state governments to make sure that whatever Islamic law that they intend to enforce falls in line with the country’s apex law.

“Hence, the implementation of Islamic laws must be done in a structured manner and within the ambit of the Federal Constitution, especially in limiting the use of Islamic laws to only Muslims to preserve the nation’s stability and harmony,” he said in a written parliamentary reply.

Last March 19, the Kelantan state assembly approved the Shariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment with 31 votes from PAS lawmakers supported by 12 from Umno.

PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang also submitted two private member’s Bills to Parliament to remove legal obstacles preventing the enforcement of Shariah penal law, or hudud, in Kelantan.

The Islamist party’s hudud plan has drawn hostile responses from allies PKR and DAP, with the open discord sending the pact into a crisis that has senior leaders already bracing for its disintegration.

With MPs from its Pakatan Rakyat partners expected to vote against the bills if the Dewan Rakyat decides to allow them to be tabled, PAS will have to rely on support from arch-rivals Umno ― which holds the lion’s share of parliamentary seats ― to see the bills through.

The bills, however, did not make it on Parliament’s April meeting.

Jamil Khir, in his written reply, said Putrajaya has taken note of Abdul Hadi’s bills.