KOTA BHARU: The Kelantan State Legislative Assembly today passed an amended Syariah bill which provides for, among other things, the whipping punishment to be executed in public.
The Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 (Amendment 2017) Bill also empowers religious enforcement officers to handcuff suspects and allows video clips to be used as evidence in trials.
The amendment to the bill was tabled by the Chairman of the State Islamic Development, Propagation, Information and Public Relations Committee, Datuk Mohd Nassuruddin Daud.
Speaker Datuk Abdullah Yaa’kub announded that the bill was passed with the unanimous support of the state assemblymen present.
When tabling the motion, Mohd Nassuruddin said several factors were taken into account in proposing the amendment, among which was that enactment was 15 years old and the current intensive growth of the world.
“The amendment is necessary to assist the Syariah judges, prosecutors, lawyers and religious enforcement officers to conduct the Syariah criminal cases in a more orderly and standardised manner.
“The amendments to be applied will be those allowing a convicted person to be whipped in public, enforcement officers to use handcuffs and video clips to be used as evidence in trials,” he told the state assembly meeting.
Meanwhile, Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, when met outside the assembly, said the bill was part of the procedure to implement the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 if it was approved by Parliament.
“All the 33 clauses in the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 Bill have been amended to streamline penalties such as whipping, fine and some other technical processes.
“For example, the whipping penalty can be implemented inside or outside the prison depending on the decision of the court. It is in accordance with religious requirements (regarding whipping) because the Syariah punishment must be executed in public,” he said.
The state assembly adjourned sine die. – Bernama