KUALA TERENGGANU: While there had been disappointment among Pas leaders on the government’s decision not to take over party’s Private Member’s Bill, dubbed RUU355, the Terengganu State Legislative Assembly unanimously supported the Islamic Family Enactment (Amendments) 2017.
The amendments, which covered all 140 clauses in the Enactment was tabled by state chairman for Communication, Multimedia and Special Tasks Ghazali Taib.
It invited Bandar (PKR) assemblyman Azan Ismail to question whether the government had complied with requirements under the Syariah laws.
Azan asked if the police have the facilities to separate suspects held for offences under the Syariah laws and civil laws.
“I am not against the amendments but are we prepared to execute the Syariah laws? Do we have separate prisons for Syariah offenders and are we truly Syariah compliant?” he said when debating on the Enactment.
Clearing the confusion, Ghazali said the amendments were related to improvements on the existing laws to further protect the family institution and the well-being of family members.
“For example, we have laws where children will be made responsible for the welfare of their father and the father can request for support from their sons. It is about responsibility and family well-being.
“The move is also to streamline our Syariah laws with that of other states by maximising the powers of the Syariah courts. We are far behind and we are not amending the laws just because we want to amend it.
“Time has changed and we have to keep up with times. We cannot remain static. In the past a fine of RM200 was a deterrent but today a fine of RM1000 is still not a deterrent,” he said.
As for separate holding cells for Syariah offenders, Ghazali said the existing laws provided for separate jails for Syariah and civil cases offenders.
Ghazali said the Syariah laws would continue to be amended in future as and when new cases require a revision of the laws.
“What we have today may not be applicable in 10 years’ time. Whoever is the government then may have to consider amending the existing laws. It is for the good of every Muslims and we have to accept it without prejudice,” he added.