Any further action on the judiciary’s call for Parliament to resolve the question of jurisdiction between the civil and syariah courts lies in the hands of the Prime Minister, de-facto law minister Nazri Aziz said.
The PM is expected to consult his component parties' leaders before coming out with a decision soon.
He was asked if the Government would take up the call by the Federal Court in re Latifah Mat Zin on Wednesday.
Bar Council chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan said there have been an increasing number of family disputes affecting Muslims and non-Muslims that overlap both jurisdictions.
“This decision brings about some certainty (and with that less anxiety and anguish to Muslims and non-Muslims) as to where parties may go to pursue their legal remedies,” said Ambiga, in commending the court for emphasising the importance of acting in conformity with the Federal Constitution.
While clarifying some issues, she said the Federal Court had noted there could be situations where there may be matters outside the jurisdiction of both courts, resulting in no available remedy in either court.
“This has to be comprehensively addressed either by the courts or by Parliament as suggested in the judgment.”
It is timely that the prime minister act on the matter to fill up the legal lacuna which affects the jurisdiction of the courts e.g. syariah and civil. However, any proposed amendment must seek to protect the original spirit of the federal constitution which respects the role of religion especially Islam but remained secular in essence.
It will be a trying time for the non-Muslim leaders in BN to decide on the amendment. This is a duty call for them to prove that they are loyal Malaysians and respected the spirit of federal constitution.