KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — The Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) has denied today that there is any challenge against Islamic laws in the country, explaining that Shariah punishments here are meted out by the authorities.
The government-linked think tank also urged the public to be properly informed of the recent Federal Court decision which declared that 16 out of the 18 Shariah provisions in Kelantan were against the Federal Constitution.
“The punishment for civil and Shariah in Malaysia is a form of ‘takzir’ where the punishment for the offences are enacted by the rulers, hence there is no challenge towards Islamic laws in Shariah courts,” Ikim said in a statement here.
“Takzir” is a type of punishment for Shariah offences which are determined by the legislators or government. It is one of the three types of Shariah punishments, which include hudud and qisas.
Hudud are punishments for seven specific Shariah offences that were outlined in the Quran and Hadith, while qisas is a form of restitution for crimes such as homicide or personal injury.
Takzir, however, is a form of punishment which is set at the discretion of the legislator or the judge.
Ikim also highlighted that the chief justice had emphasised in her judgement that the case was unrelated to the position of Islam or the Shariah courts in Malaysia but merely the jurisdiction of Kelantan’s state legislative assembly in enacting laws.
Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said last week in her ruling that the constitutional challenge brought by two Muslim women to nullify 18 provisions under the Kelantan Shariah criminal enactment cannot be construed as blasphemy since the laws had been mandated by the state legislative assembly and not Allah.
Tengku Maimun had similarly pointed out how Shariah courts in Malaysia, up until today, do not enforce hudud or qisas, only takzir — and therefore there is no difference between both courts because they enforce the same punishments.
To address the root cause of the misinformation and disinformation among the public, Ikim said it will be spearheading initiatives to spread awareness of the truth to the public by hosting a roundtable discussion by experts to deliver accurate legal information via articles, radio and social media.
Lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter had challenged the constitutionality and validity of 18 provisions under the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code (left) Enactment 2019, claiming that the Kelantan State Legislature does not have the power to enact laws on these offences because there are federal laws covering the same.
The Federal Court decided in their favour on Friday and declared that 16 out of 18 provisions of Kelantan’s Shariah Criminal Code (I) Enactment 2019 were invalid, as the Kelantan state legislative assembly had overstepped its powers or had no powers to make such laws.
Following the win, Nik Elin said the Federal Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of several provisions under the Kelantan Shariah criminal enactment is a testament to the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the nation.
Acknowledging the court’s ruling, Nik Elin said her challenge had nothing to do with Islamic doctrines but rather the competency of state legislative assemblies as determined by the Federal Court.