Law minister doesn't want any more challenges to state syariah law

·2-min read
Law minister doesn't want any more challenges to state syariah law
Law minister doesn't want any more challenges to state syariah law

PAS is urging that no further challenges to state law be mounted, following the Federal court ruling that a syariah enactment on unnatural sex was unconstitutional.

Party secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said additional challenges will have negative consequences and does not acknowledge the dynamism that syariah legal principles bring to the Malaysian legal system.

Takiyuddin, who is also the law minister, cited decisions from two colonial era cases - Ramah binti Ta’at vs Laton binti Malim Sutan in 1927; and Fatimah binti Haris vs Ismail Haji Tahir in 1939 - in which the British Courts said that 'Mohammedan laws' were not foreign but part of the law of the land.

"Therefore, PAS calls on all parties to respect this position and not try to take the angle of improper approach by challenging the existing legal aspects of state laws for the purpose of maintaining social, religious and cultural harmony as well as national unity.

He claimed that PAS' worry was “if the judiciary decides a case because of public pressure, this will lead to future implications that do not benefit the country and society”.

Takiyuddin said his party will continue its efforts to harmonise civil law, which is based on English common law, with Islamic law.

"Recognising that Malaysia is a country where the majority of the population is of the Islamic faith, PAS will also work to make civil Law (Common Law) in the country in harmony with Syariah Law," he said.

PAS was confident that the legal principles of Syariah law, acknowledged including by the British courts in Malaya during the pre-Independence era, is capable of injecting a freshness and dynamism to the Malaysian legal system.

A nine-person bench of the Federal Court led by chief justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat in a unanimous decision on Thursday struck down the provision of the Selangor syariah law that criminalises "unnatural sex".

This was on the grounds that the matter falls under the jurisdiction of federal and not state laws.

The state syariah provision makes it an offence for Muslims in Selangor to perform "sexual intercourse against the order of nature".