Govt considering re-establishing shariah court panel, says minister

The shariah courts empowerment committee was dissolved when Pakatan Harapan came to power after the 14th general election. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is considering re-establishing the shariah courts empowerment committee that was dissolved when Pakatan Harapan (PH) came to power after the 14th general election (GE14) in May 2018.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said the committee was originally set up in 2017 to empower the shariah judicial system in a holistic manner, in line with the status of Islam in the Federal Constitution.

“The committee was dissolved due to the change of government after GE14. The government is studying the possibility of re-establishing this committee,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

“The administration of shariah courts is also being standardised through the formulation of the Shariah Court Practices, Shariah Court Rules and standard operating procedure.

“Efforts are being made to re-establish the committee after discussions with all the syarie chief judges as well as the chief registrars of the shariah courts.”

Zulkifli was responding to Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang), who wanted to know if the government intended to form a committee to restructure the administration and procedures adopted by the shariah courts in order to upgrade the judicial system.

On the restructuring of the administration and procedures adopted by shariah courts throughout the country, Zulkifli said the government was getting feedback from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and sultans.

He said the federal government, together with the state governments, would work towards empowering the shariah courts by expanding their jurisdiction, upgrading the judicial system and reviewing the position of the judges.