RUU 355 from an Islamic Perspective: Improve Legal Safeguards in Tandem with Higher Punishments

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Wan Naim Wan Mansor

Abstract

Muslims generally favour upholding the Shari'ah, especially at the highest levels of government. Any implementation of this aspiration, however, must follow the necessary guidelines. It should not take place at the expense of the principles
and values of the Shari'ah itself. This article takes a look at RUU 355 and some concerns arising from it. On 26 May 2016, Abdul Hadi Awang, an opposition leader in Malaysia’s Parliament and President of the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), introduced a Private Member’s Bill, known as RUU 355 (Bill, Malay: Rang Undang-Undang) to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. The Bill seeks to raise the upper boundaries of Syariah courts’ sentencing limits while retaining
the offences under the jurisdiction of Syariah courts, as specified in List II of the State List of the Ninth Schedule to the Federal Constitution.

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