KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional will organise a series of demonstrations to protest a family’s legal challenge against 20 provisions under Kelantan’s shariah criminal enactment.
PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the first demonstration will be held in Terengganu on Nov 16, followed by one in Kelantan on Nov 18 and a prayer gathering at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya on Nov 20.
“I want to emphasise that we take the issue of challenges to the shariah court seriously,” Tuan Ibrahim said at a press conference at Parliament today.
“This case is important (and) its implications are substantial for all shariah court laws across the country. If this (successful challenge) were to happen, it would lead to a significant reduction in the authority of the shariah courts,” he said.
Last year, Kelantan-born lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter,Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman, filed a constitutional challenge regarding the 20 provisions contained in the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019, which they claimed were invalid as there were federal laws covering the same offences.
They contended that the power to legislate on criminal matters belongs exclusively to Parliament, with state assemblies only given the right to enact laws concerning the Islamic faith.
They went directly to the Federal Court as it has exclusive jurisdiction to decide such questions, based on Article 128(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution.
Tuan Ibrahim said he had received a memorandum from the “Save Shariah Movement”, which comprises about 300 NGOs which are concerned about the legal challenge.
He said while the NGOs had extended an invitation to the government to receive the memorandum, no government representative had accepted it.
“For us (PN), this issue transcends political parties and should be a shared issue,” he said.