KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — Perikatan Nasional (PN) is seeking to drum up Muslim support in defence of controversial Shariah criminal laws in PAS-led Kelantan.
PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the coalition will hold three separate gatherings in Kelantan, Terengganu and Putrajaya on November 16, 18 and 20 respectively.
“We want to invite all Muslims who are concerned about this issue to join the rallies.
“We are actually quite disappointed that no one from the government met with a group of non-governmental organisations when their representatives came earlier to submit a memorandum in protest of the Nik Elin case.
“This issue transcends across all political parties, by right everyone should be together in this,” he said in a press conference at Parliament today.
He claimed the Federal Court is purportedly scheduled to deliver its decision on November 20 and that PN will hold a prayer gathering outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya on that day.
But Malay Mail’s checks have shown that November 20 is scheduled for continued hearing of the case instead.
Malay Mail today contacted lawyer Surendra Ananth who is representing the Kelantan duo who had filed the lawsuit and he confirmed that November 20 is for continued hearing of the case.
Tuan Ibrahim was referring to a constitutional challenge filed by lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Natasha Tengku Abdul Rahman in May to nullify and void 20 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019.
The mother-daughter pair claimed the Kelantan legislative assembly has no powers to make criminal laws, and cited Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution.
Under Article 4(4), the validity of any laws made by the Parliament or state legislature can be questioned in court.
In August, a panel of nine Federal Court judges heard a constitutional review of 20 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019 as part of the proceedings for Nik Elin’s case and the panel’s chair was reported saying during the hearing that there was no dispute arising over Islam as the official religion of the federation.
PAS leaders, including its president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang who is Marang MP, and secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan who is also Kota Baru MP, have repeatedly accused the federal government of not standing up for Islam even after the federal Islamic affairs minister said the Anwar administration’s stand is not to intervene in court cases.