Religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said the Federal Court decision should be respected.

KUALA LUMPUR: Jakim, the Islamic development department, is to hold discussions with relevant parties in its efforts to improve shariah laws, especially those related to shariah criminal offences in the country, religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said today.

He said the discussions come in the wake of a Federal Court decision that declared as unconstitutional a provision in the Selangor shariah law which makes it an offence to engage in unnatural sex.

“I have held discussions with Jakim’s legal advisor, to get his views on the legal implications of the Federal Court’s decision,” Zulkifli said in a statement today.

“The Syarak and Civil Law Technical Committee will hold a consultation session with states and stakeholders in an effort to strengthen and streamline shariah laws in Malaysia,” he said.

He urged all Muslims to respect the Federal Court decision and urged them to refrain from making any speculation on the matter.

On Thursday, a nine-member bench led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat held that Section 28 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 relates to matters that fall under federal law and Parliament’s power to enact laws.

The court granted a declaration sought by a 35-year-old man that Section 28 is invalid on grounds that it made provision with respect to a matter that the Selangor state legislature was not empowered to make laws on and was therefore null and void.

Section 28 of the enactment makes it an offence for any person who performs sexual intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or a maximum three-year jail term or whipping not exceeding six strokes or any combination, on conviction.

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The man, whose identity is being withheld by request, was charged in 2019 with attempting to commit sexual intercourse against the order of nature with certain other male persons at a house in Selangor on Nov 9, 2018.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge. His trial at the shariah high court has been stayed pending the outcome of his legal challenge.



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