SEPANG, Sept 29 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today his government based its response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Islamic principles, applying the maqasid shariah to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.
The maqasid shariah is defined as the overriding philosophy or objective of Islamic law.
Muhyiddin told an international Shariah law conference here that the movement control order was intended to preserve lives and protect citizes’ right to faith, a key tenet of Shariah law.
“In order to protect lives, which is one of the principles of maqasid shariah, the government had enforced several phases of the movement control order,” Muhyiddin said in his opening speech at the Nusantara Shariah Legal and Judiciary Conference.
“As the ruling government, we have a duty to curb the spread of this dangerous virus, and that was why we enforced the MCO,” he added.
The Muhyiddin administration enforced strict movement curbs that spanned nearly four months and began to lift these gradually as the number of infections decreased.
But in recent weeks the emergence of new infection clusters have sparked concerns that public health authorities may have to force a lockdown again, although government officials have said that is unlikely.
The strategy for now is to lock down perimeters of areas with a high number of cases. Several locations in Kedah and Sabah, for example, underwent the emergency movement control order after cases spiked within days.
Separately, Muhyiddin vowed to “improve” the courts’ jurisdiction, appointment of more judges and court officials, as his government will remain committed to strengthening the Shariah judiciary and legal system.
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