Kelantan to table Syariah Criminal Code enforcement Bills

Kelantan to table Syariah Criminal Code enforcement Bills
Newly-appointed Kelantan Chief Minister Datuk Ahmad Yakob (second from left) shaking hands with his deputy, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, watched by members of the Kelantan State Assembly Council after the swearing-in ceremony at the Istana Negeri Kubang Kerian.

KOTA BARU, Malaysia - The PAS-led Kelantan government will convene a special state assembly meeting on Dec 29 to table two private member Bills that will allow the enforcement of the Syariah Criminal Code II that it approved in 1993, before it seeks Parliament's nod for what is widely known as its hudud law.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said at a press conference at Kota Darul Naim yesterday that all the amendments to the Kelantan Government Syariah Penal Code (amended) 2014 would be tabled for debate by all state assemblymen.

"The changes are to allow for the insertion of two private members' Bills before the matter is forwarded to Parliament to be passed," he said.

"The amendments will automatically allow the (Kelantan) state to enforce the laws under hudud, and it will be the law of the land, superseding the Criminal Procedure Code.

"I hope all 45 state assemblymen will be present to debate on the matter," said Ahmad, who is also acting PAS Dewan Ulama chief.

One of the two Bills seeks to provide wider powers to Syariah court judges to hear and mete out sentences under the Syariah Penal Code.

The other Bill is to allow the state government to make use of Federal departments like the Police and the Prisons Department to enforce its laws.

Article 76A of the Federal Constitution states that criminal acts like stealing, robbery, causing hurt, rape and murder fall under the jurisdiction of the Penal Code, while Kelantan is seeking to try Muslims suspected of the same acts under hudud.

On the rights of non-Muslims under the hudud laws, Ahmad said it was the right for non-Muslims to oppose hudud laws, though he added that such laws only apply to Muslims.

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