Hadi’s bill not comprehensive for shariah courts, says Mujahid

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa says guidelines would be drawn up to bar discrimination of Muslim women over their choice of dressing in the workplace. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa says the Private Member’s Bill promoted by PAS to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 is not suitable within the framework of shariah laws.

He said this was because the bill, known as RUU355, was not comprehensive.

“We want to strengthen the shariah courts holistically,” he said when winding up the debate on his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to a point raised by Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bharu) who asked if the government would allow debate on the bill proposed by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to empower Shariah courts to increase penalties for shariah offences.

Takiyuddin said the bill sought to strengthen shariah courts and did not affect non-Muslims.

A motion on the bill was tabled by Hadi in the Dewan Rakyat last year but it was not debated.

On another matter, Muhajid said guidelines would be drawn up to bar discrimination of Muslim women over their choice of dressing in the workplace.

“Muslim women should be allowed to wear clothes according to shariah laws, especially in the private sector,” he said.

He said a panel had been set up to draw up the guidelines which would be discussed with representatives of Muslim organisations.

“By end of this year, we could forward the guidelines to the private sector,” said Muhajid in replying to a query by Takiyuddin on the timeframe to complete the guidelines.

Last year, the Malaysian Labour Centre of the Union Network International (Uni-MLC) claimed some hotel employees were not allowed to wear headscarves while at work.

The centre said the rule was also imposed on hospitality and tourism students applying for internships.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), in its response, said the prohibition on wearing the tudung for frontline staff was an international practice and should not be considered discrimination.