Malaysia to Appoint Special Committee for Drafting Syariah Laws

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia is set to appoint members to a special committee tasked with addressing issues related to federal and state jurisdiction, particularly in the competency of state legislative assemblies for drafting syariah laws.

According to BERNAMA News Agency, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar announced that the selection of committee members, including legal and judicial experts as well as law practitioners, has been completed. The announcement came during the winding-up session of the 2024 Budget at the committee level in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Dr. Mohd Na’im was responding to a query from Datuk Ahmad Saad (PN-Pokok Sena) about the formation of the special committee, the composition of its members, and the timeframe for resolving religious legal matters. He explained that the committee’s terms of reference and a specific timeframe for resolving Islamic legal issues would be established following the appointment of its members.

The initiative to form the committee aligns with a decree issued by Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah during the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs meeting on August 28, emphasizing the need for a dedicated group to address these legal complexities.

In related news, Mohd Na’im clarified that the government currently has no plans to privatize the halal certification process. He stated that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the State Islamic Religious Councils would continue as the authorized entities for issuing halal certifications. This approach adheres to Sultan Sharafuddin’s directive to keep domestic and international halal certification under Jakim and the state Islamic religious councils’ purview.

The session, however, experienced a tense moment when Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary (PN-Pengkalan Chepa) raised a point about a statement made by Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming regarding Palestinian Solidarity Week in schools. His remarks led to a heated exchange among various MPs, including members from both the government and opposition.

Despite multiple instructions from Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Alice Lau Kiong Yieng to retract his statement, Ahmad Marzuk refused, resulting in his ejection from the hall.