SINGAPORE: The federal government cannot interfere with the exercise of state jurisdiction, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
“The breach of Syariah Law by the two women and its subsequent punishment of caning is under the state jurisdiction and federal government cannot interfere in the exercise of state authority.
“Item 1 list II of the ninth schedule of the Federal Constitution clearly states that the exercise of state jurisdiction on Islamic matters provided therein is a state matter, therefore, federal government cannot interfere in state jurisdiction,” he said.
Liew, who is in Singapore for the 39th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary (AIPA), said this when contacted by the media on Tuesday in regards to the public caning of two women in Terengganu under Syariah law for attempting same-sex relations.
Earlier, Terengganu Syariah High Court had fined both women RM3, 300 and ordered them to be caned six times each after they pleaded guilty to committing same-sex relations.
The sentence, which lasted six minutes, was conducted behind closed doors in the courtroom on Monday.
Liew, however, said the act itself does not augur well for human rights especially in the eyes of the international community.
“The state of Terengganu is now under the control of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).
PAS is not part of the Pakatan Harapan government but acts on its own accord,” he added.