Kelantan govt saddened with Federal Court's ruling – Deputy MB

PUTRAJAYA: Kelantan deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Mohamed Fadzil Hassan urged the government to amend the Federal Constitution following the recent Federal Court ruling which annulled 16 provisions of the state Syariah Law.

He said the Federal Government has the responsibility to review Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution as it also touched on the Syariah Court's jurisdiction.

"If the provisions of the said Article hindered the state legislative assembly from legislating laws, then the Federal Government has the responsibility to amend it (constitution) accordingly.

"Please make sure what should be amended, then amend it. This is about the jurisdiction of the syariah courts.

"Some people might argue that it is also within the Penal Code... but you must make a differentiation between the Syariah criminal law and the civil criminal law with regards to evidence and adjudication and so on, it is a different thing altogether," he said in a press conference here today.

Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, the Federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing Islam.

He said the state government through its special committee would review the decision before taking any further action to amend the enactment.

"On behalf of the state government and its people, we are deeply disappointed with this decision, and we will seek an audience with the Sultan as soon as possible to inform him of today's decision.

"In our previous exco meeting, we formed a committee to study this matter.

"Once we receive the written judgment from the court, we will study the decision before taking any steps.

"This matter does not only concern the Kelantan state government, but also all states and its government, with regards to the Federal Government," he said.

Earlier, the Federal Court, in a landmark ruling stated 16 out of 18 provisions under the Kelantan syariah criminal enactment were unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the legislative powers of the Federal and State governments have been determined by the Federal Constitution in the Federal List and State list.

The constitutional challenge was initiated by Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid, a lawyer born in Kelantan, and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman on May 25, 2022.

They utilised Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution to directly approach the Federal Court, listing the Kelantan state government as the respondent.

The legal challenge had drawn flak from various Islamic religious societies, with some condemning the act and describing it as a betrayal of Islamic principles.

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