Terengganu to study ‘shariah jail’

Those convicted of shariah offences could be sent to a separate prison if the proposal by a Terengganu shariah judge is accepted.

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu will consider a proposal to set up a special detention centre for Shariah offenders to serve their time, said Menteri Besar Ahmad Shamsuri Mokhtar.

He said the proposal by a Shariah High Court judge was realistic and could be implemented, but not in haste.

“The state government takes the views and recommendations of the shariah judge seriously.

“But we will have to discuss its pros and cons first,” he told reporters after opening the state-level National Sports Day here.

“We will check whether this is within the jurisdiction of the state government or it’s for the federal government to decide.

“In any case, we will make a thorough study before making any decision.”

On Oct 10, judge Kamalruazmi Ismail proposed the establishment of a special detention centre for shariah offenders for the purpose of restoring their faith and broadening their moral horizon, while protecting them from other more serious criminals such as rape or robbery offenders.

He had said this before sentencing a widow to four strokes of the rotan after she pleaded guilty to a charge of “acting in preparation for prostitution” on Sept 19.

Commenting on criticism that shariah punishment would hit the state tourism industry, Shamsuri said people should look at it with an open mind.

He said it was unfair to continue blaming the state government as every state or country has guidelines and laws that must be followed.