PUTRAJAYA: More than 1,000 people, mostly PAS members, have gathered at the Palace of Justice here to “support and defend” the shariah courts.
This comes as the hearing of a bid by a mother and daughter to declare several shariah criminal offences enacted by the Kelantan state legislature as unconstitutional continues before the Federal Court today.
The crowd had gathered since 8am, with several coming all the way from Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu.
Some were spotted with Palestinian flags while others held up placards saying “Defend Kelantan’s shariah enactments”.
They were joined by PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, party secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan and vice-president Idris Ahmad. Also present was Bersatu vice-president and Putrajaya MP Radzi Jidin.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is expected to address the crowd when he arrives later.
The gathering started with a solat hajat.
Lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Abdul Rashid and her daughter, Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman, claim that 20 provisions contained in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019 are invalid as there are federal laws covering the same offences.
The provisions touch on false claims, destroying and defiling places of worship, prostitution and various other sexual offences, including homosexuality, giving false evidence, and forgery of documents.
The duo contend 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 want the apex court to declare these provisions null and void.
Tuan Ibrahim previously said the gathering today was to defend the shariah enactments being challenged. He invited “all Muslims who are concerned about this issue” to attend.
PAS had organised similar gatherings in Kelantan and Terengganu last Thursday and Saturday, as a “sign of support in defending the shariah courts”.
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