Zahid: Umno aims for two-thirds majority in GE15 to reinforce shariah law

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Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi vowed to amend the federal constitution to strengthen shariah law should his party win a two-thirds majority in the general election.

He said it was necessary to do this following recent court decisions which could diminish the power of the shariah system as well as the individual states over matters of religion.

“If we have a two-thirds majority, we must amend the federal constitution to strengthen shariah law,” he said in his policy speech at the party’s annual general assembly today.

He noted that recent judicial rulings permitting Christians to use the word “Allah” and denying the authority of the shariah court to criminalise unnatural sex case had deep ramifications for Islam.

Such decisions, if allowed to continue, would challenge the sovereign power of the Malay rulers, he added.

He said perhaps the federal constitution needed to be amended to boost the position of the shariah court as a legal authority.

“Recently, the High Court permitted non-Muslims to use the word ‘Allah’. The decision has especially rankled Muslims in the country.”

The Federal Court’s decision in the case of Iki Putra had more far-reaching implications, he said.

“The decision has the potential to disqualify more of the existing shariah laws. It could even cripple the shariah criminal system in Malaysia.

Hasnoor Hussain/TMI

“The decision can also threaten the states’ power to enforce the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment,” he said.

Early this year, Judge Nor Bee Ariffin ruled it was unlawful and unconstitutional to bar Christians from using the word “Allah.”

The decision caused consternation among some peninsula-based political parties and Muslim groups.

A nine-man Federal Court panel ruled in February that a Selangor shariah provision criminalising unnatural sex contravened the federal constitution which states that only parliament has the power to enact criminal laws.

Constitutional amendments are required to allow states to enforce changes to their respective shariah laws. – TMI