Govt mulls syariah com­mu­nity ser­vice

> Putrajaya to sub­mit sep­a­rate pro­posal on amend­ments to Act

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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.

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