KUALA LUMPUR: Significant growth of the halal economy warrants efforts to develop shariah-compliant legal frameworks and fostering harmonisation of shariah and civil law, religious affairs minister Na’im Mokhtar said.
He said efforts to harmonise the two judicial systems were needed as the law had been increasingly impacted by the influence of international trade and treaties, transnational arrangements as well as fast-paced developments in automation and digitalisation.
“Technologies like fintech and blockchain have tested and expanded the boundary of laws and regulations.
“In the context of ‘muamalah’, an economic sector based on halal and Muslim-friendly principles is a major push factor in the development of new legal norms and governance,” Na’im said.
He said the ongoing process of harmonisation of laws in Malaysia, which aims to elevate the position of Islam as the religion of the federation, faces a battery of challenges and opposition.
“Conflicts of law are bound to happen, for example, the debate concerning the use of the word ‘Allah’, the recurring civil and shariah court jurisdictional disputes plaguing Malaysia for decades, and issues on the implementation of Islamic criminal law, to name a few,” he said.
Na’im said the ultimate purpose was to dignify shariah law to its rightful sovereign position, while converging compatible areas of shariah and civil law.
“Certainly, the quest is to manifest the objectives of the Maqasid-al-Shari’ah, which guarantees to protect the religion, the lives of humankind, the mind, progeny and property.
“We may not live long enough to see the ultimate realisation of this but I believe that one day, it will surely become apparent that (fostering) harmonisation is the means to achieve development of a community of people who stand up for equity and justice,” he said.