Govt mulls syariah community service
> Putrajaya to submit separate proposal on amendments to Act
KUALA LUMPUR: The government intends to include community service as punishment under the controversial syariah court amendments proposed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang).
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the government wants to submit its own proposal to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965 (Act 355).
“The government is also scrutinising the proposed amendments to widen the existing criminal jurisdiction of syariah courts, considering the Act has not been amended for a long time.
“If the proposed amendment is passed in Parliament, the government intends to propose (those convicted) under syariah are given punishments including community service,” he said in response to a question from Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh).
Kok had asked whether the Cabinet had conducted an extensive discussion on the Bill for amendment to Act 355 by Hadi before it was tabled in the last sitting.
She also asked whether the government took into account the views of Cabinet members and the public, who oppose the amendments.
Jamil did not reply in relation to discussions prior to tabling of the Bill and on public reaction.
“The state law on enactment and sentencing under the Islamic rule only applies to Muslims and does not touch on the civil court’s jurisdiction to hear criminal cases under the Penal Code,” he said.
He added that the current maximum punishment meted out under the law, which was amended in 1984, was expanded to incorporate Sabah and Sarawak in 1989.