PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney-General's Chambers has formed the Syariah and Harmonisation of Law division, a unit that will look into issues related to Islam and Syariah laws that arise at the Federal and international levels.
The AGC in a statement said based on Clause (2) of Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, the Attorney-General has the responsibility to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the cabinet or any minister about any legal matter.
"The formation of the division is important because it will be the focal point for any syariah-related issues that is referred to the AGC.
"Among others it will look into legal advice, formulation and coordination of Syariah laws, the ratification of international convention that has an impact on Syariah related matters and the harmonisation between civil law and syariah law to overcome conflict of jurisdiction between the Civil and Syariah courts”.
The move is also aimed to ensure more effective delivery of the AGC services on syariah-related issues based on current demands, the AGC said.
On Jan 29, the Federal Court ruled that the unilateral conversion of Hindu mother M. Indira Ghandi's three children by her Muslim convert ex-husband was null and void.
A five-man panel, chaired by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, unanimously made the decision after allowing Indira's final appeal to challenge the validity of her children's conversion to Islam.
In a summary of a 99-page judgement read out by Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zainun Ali, the court ruled that the consent of both parents is needed to convert a minor. Other judges in the panel were Sabah and Sarawak Chief Judge Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court Judges Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin and Tan Sri Ramly Ali.
Following the decision, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria had proposed that the state government make amendments to insert the establishment of the Syariah Court in the state constitution.
“The amendment could elevate the Syariah Court to be on par with the Civil Court. The Syariah Court should also not be regarded as an entity being outside the institution of the judiciary, thus placing it in a lower position,” he had said in a statement in Ipoh.