Syariah Court members reminded to practise integrity

Rokiah Mahmud

Members of the Syariah Court were yesterday reminded to practise integrity, carry out their entrusted duties, and uphold and preserve the reputation of the judiciary, particularly the Syarak Law (Hukum Syarak), following the full implementation of the Syariah Penal Code Order, 2013.

This was emphasised by Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar, during the 5th Annual Assembly of the Syariah Courts of the State Judiciary Department under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) .

He said all members of the Syariah Court, whether they are judges, officers or staff, are required to uphold the trust (amanah) that has become their responsibility in carrying out the laws of Allah the Almighty.

“All actions and decisions must undergo serious review and should not be taken lightly. Otherwise, it might gradually affect the reputation and image of the Syariah Courts. Consequently, it will lose trust in society, with regard to the management and decisions made by the courts,” said the Syariah Chief Judge.

“In 2019, there were 1,398 Mal cases registered under the Syariah Subordinate Court throughout the country. From this figure, 1,185 cases or 84.76 per cent were resolved, compared to 97.5 per cent in 2018.

“The Mal cases registered at the Syariah High Court in 2019 were 85.7 per cent compared to 96 per cent in 2018.”

The Chief Syar’ie Judge added that five Mal cases were registered under the Syariah Appeals Court in 2019, with two cases already resolved.

He said there was a decline of 12.74 per cent for resolved cases at the Syariah Subordinate Court, with 10.3 per cent of settled Mal cases at the Syariah High Court.

Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar presents a certificate for service appreciation. PHOTO: ROKIAH MAHMUD

“If we look at the number of registered cases at both the Syariah Subordinate and Syariah High Courts for the 2019 and 2018 period, there are significant aspects to these differences.

“One is a decline in the criminal cases registered at Syariah Subordinate Court – 162 compared to 187 cases in 2018. Out of 162 cases, 129 (79.6 percent) were resolved, compared to 95.7 per cent in 2018,”

“At the Syariah High Court, 118 cases were registered in 2019 and 264 in 2018. Out of this figure, 105 cases in 2019 – or 88.9 per cent – were solved, with 260 cases – or 98.4 per cent – settled in 2018.

“In 2019, the Syariah Subordinate Court registered four criminal cases that were successfully heard.”

In view of the declining figures for resolved cases at the Syariah Subordinate Court and the Syariah High Court in 2018 and 2019, the Chief Syar’ie Judge said that it was vital for the courts to determine the cause of the declining percentage, so that it could be properly handled.

He also commended the quality of services at a special counter set up by the Courts Management, for the public to obtain forms.

“This means that if planning is carried out carefully and meticulously, it will produce successful results in enhancing the quality of services at the Syariah Courts. It contributes to the management of cases at the Syariah Courts as a whole.

“In upholding the trust and responsibilities assumed by the Syariah Courts in fully implementing the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 enacted in April 2019, it is believed that the Courts Management has undertaken the right measures and steps in providing its full commitment towards carrying out and managing the cases brought to the Syariah Courts, particularly those involving Hudud and Qisas.

Under the Syariah Penal Code Order, 2013, which was fully implemented by April 2019, there were 84 cases brought to the Syariah Subordinate Court.

Out of that number, 52 – which is 61.9 per cent of the cases – were resolved, while the remainder are still in the trial process, with the dates set accordingly.

“For cases brought to the Syariah High Court, 16 were registered, involving Ta’zir, Sariqah and injury cases.

“In several of the cases, a number of those charged were non-Muslims. However, they were tried according to the existing laws, and they accepted the judges’ decisions and edicts.

“The Syariah Court has carried out and implemented judicial process based on regulations and laws without any prejudice. All of the parties were even accorded their own rights, according to the law.”

At the annual assembly, the Chief Syar’ie Judge launched the 2nd Syariah Law Report Books.

He presented certificates of appreciation to long-serving staff, as well as certificates to the participants of the Mediation Training Course programme from October 28 to November 1, 2019.

The annual assembly is aimed at fostering closer ties among members of the Syariah Courts, and serving as a platform for integration in upholding the vision and mission of the Syariah Courts.