Towards a uniform shariah penal code for all states

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PETALING JAYA: The National Council for Islamic Affairs has agreed on a proposal to standardise shariah criminal laws in all states, the office of the Islamic affairs minister announced today.

Each state now has its own set of shariah laws. The punishments stipulated for certain offences vary from state to state. For example, it said, whipping is meted out in some states, but not in others.

“This inconsistency is an injustice especially to the accused, the prosecution and those involved in a shariah criminal case,” said a statement from the office of islamic affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

It said that a draft of a uniform set of shariah criminal laws would be made by making amendments to the existing provisions, as well as adding new provisions to the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act. These changes would take into account the laws existing in other states.

The draft would then be presented to the other states for their views and agreement. When a consensus is reached, the draft would be used as a guide for the states to formulate shariah laws that would be uniform among all states.