PUTRAJAYA - A Syariah index to gauge the country's achievement in implementing Islamic law requirements will be applied from January, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the index was being developed by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) in collaboration with the International Islamic University of Malaysia and the Islamic Missionary Foundation Malaysia.
He said the index would gauge objectively and scientifically Malaysia's achievement according to the framework of Maqasid Syariah (objectives of Islamic law).
"It is highly polemical as some say our country is Islamic and some say it is not.
"So, there must be some scientific way to gauge what we have done.
"With such an index, we will be able to gauge and make comparisons with other countries as to where we have achieved success and where there are shortcomings that we should rectify together," he said when addressing an assembly of ulama here yesterday.
Touching on the MH17 and MH370 tragedies, he said Muslims in the country should not regard the incidents as a sign that Allah dislikes Malaysia.
"This is a test from Allah to all of us.
"As the leader of the Government, I have tried everything to handle the tragedies, including communicating directly with (Ukrainian separatist leader) Alexander Borodoi (on the MH17 disaster).
"This is not something we do every day, negotiating with separatists, but if I didn't do, it would be next to impossible to have the bodies of the victims.
"I did not pay Borodoi a single cent or promise him anything in return, but I believe when we are sincere, Allah will assist us," he said.
Najib also presented the Anugerah Masjid Malaysia to mosques that have shown outstanding achievements in community-related activities and management.
The top award for the Masjid Kariah category went to Masjid As-Salam in Puchong Perdana, while Masjid Sultan Yahya Petra Machang in Kelantan, was first in the district mosque category.
They received RM100,000 (S$39,651) each.