KOTA KINABALU: The construction of a new syariah court complex is hopefully can change the negative perspectives in some groups who believe that Syariah Court is a traditional, archaic institution, inferior to the Civil Court.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, said the Syariah Judiciary Department Malaysia (JSKM) is a modern, and dynamic syariah institution in term of case management, administration, and infrastructures; in its role to uphold Islamic virtues.
He also explained that in a globalized era, the effect of a borderless world along with the neighbouring countries such as Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Phillippine are geographically close, cross-cultural coalescence is inevitable.
“In Sabah alone, there are 30 various ethnicities, in addition with other ethnicities from Sarawak, the Malay branches from Indonesia, Brunei, and Phillippine. The variety of lifestyles, traditions, and beliefs will implicate the management and administration of cases.
“For me, such a diverse cultural environment will bring challenges to the Syariah Officers’ and the state syariah court jurisdiction,” he told reporters after the officiating of the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Sabah Syariah Court Complex, here today.
The groundbreaking ceremony was officiated by the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Also present at the ceremony were the Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Yahya Hussin, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Datuk Mohd. Arifin Arif, and the Director General, who is also the Chief Justice of the Syariah Judiciary Department Malaysia (JSKM), Tan Sri Dr. Ibrahim Lembut.
Jamil added that Sabah is the front-runner in term of administration and the appointment of will executors (wasi) for Muslim inheritances in the country.
Syariah Court is authorized under Section 11(3)(b)(viii), Sabah Syariah Court Enactment 2004, in accordance with the abolishment of faraid affairs under Section 9, Native Courts Enactment 1992.
Sabah Syariah Court is also the first in the country to manage adoption cases, where generally such cases will be handled by the Civil Court under Section 11(3)(b)(xi), Syariah Courts Enactment 2004.
“Both jurisdictions are not available in any syariah enactments in the Peninsular’s states,” he said. – SayangSabah