Forum needed to discuss best Syariah practices for regionWritten by Adib Povera
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has urged the Syariah Judiciary Department to introduce a forum that could serve as a platform for countries in the region to identify the best practices for Syariah judiciary institutions.
Such a forum, said Muhyiddin, would enable extensive discussions on how the concept of the Maqasid Syariah (paramount objectives in Islamic Law) could assist governments and religious authorities in seeking clarification on Islamic issues that could at times be complex.
"At the regional level, I hope that the department will take initiative by conducting a forum that can serve as a platform for information-sharing between Malaysia and other countries in the region such as Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia to identify the best Syariah judiciary institution practices.
"Through this forum, experts can continuously deliberate and discuss the functions of Maqasid Syariah in helping governments and religious authorities in the respective countries to seek clarification on issues related to the 'syarak', which on some occasions may appear complex if it was only addressed alone (by a single country).
"At the same time, I am aware that Syariah judges have a key duty and responsibility to uphold and enforce Islamic laws," he said at the opening of the Syariah Nusantara Law and Judiciary Conference 2020 here today.
Present were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Balkri, his deputy Ahmad Marzuk Shaary, Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman and Syariah Judiciary Department director Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar, who is also Chief Judge at the department.
The three-day conference, themed "The Application of Maqasid Al-Syariah Towards Embracing the New Norms in the Syariah Legal and Judiciary System", ends on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, on the home front, Muhyiddin said the Perikatan Nasional government is committed and will continue to support efforts towards elevating Syariah legal and judiciary institutions in the country.
He added that the present administration will continue to protect and empower the Syariah Court.
"Other efforts include continuously improving the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court, the appointment Syariah judges and the professionalism of court officers.
"I believe this continuous improvement will help boost the image of the Syariah judiciary and laws in dealing with increasingly complex and challenging cases apart from meeting the aspirations of the country's Muslim community," he said.
Published in: New Straits Times, Wednesday, 30 September 2020