PETALING JAYA: Four new shariah laws are being drafted by the federal government, including a bill on control and restrictions on the development of non-Muslim religions, a deputy minister was reported to have said.
Ahmad Marzuk Shaary, who is deputy minister in the prime minister’s department (religious affairs), said a Wakaf Bill, Mufti Bill and Syariah Court Bill were the other new laws being planned.
The new laws are part of a five-year plan by the federal government in which 11 changes will be made to strengthen shariah laws, which will include amendments to existing legislation and eight subsidiary shariah laws, as part of the government’s ‘Empowerment Plan.’
“The government has drafted a plan to strengthen shariah laws, especially in the Federal Territories, over a period of five years from 2020 to 2025,” he said, Harakah Daily reported. “In this empowerment plan, the government has proposed to enact 11 key shariah laws, which include the enactment of new laws and amendments to existing laws.”
Amendments to the controversial Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 are part of the plan, he was quoted as saying.
The proposed amendment bill (commonly referred to as RUU355) gave rise to an opposition outcry with politicians and civil society groups accusing the federal government of seeking to allow the implementation of “hudud” as part of the Islamic penal code.
Islamic laws and the Islamic penal code come under the jurisdiction of state governments, but are handled by the federal government in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.