Sunday, December 12, 2010

Govt mulls female Syariah judges for marriage, divorce cases

Published: Wednesday December 8, 2010 MYT 3:17:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday December 8, 2010 MYT 3:19:39 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is scrutinising all regulations for the appointment of female Syariah court judges to enable adjudicating cases related to marriage and divorce, Parliament was told Wednesday.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said, however, such efforts required cooperation from state Islamic religious councils and departments as they would have certain regulations and constraints on the matter.

He said the process pertaining to female syariah judges adjudicating cases involving women was already stated in the state enactments and regulations under the Syariah Judicial Department of Malaysia.

"However, efforts to provide a wider perspective, including areas allowed for, by the Syariah and ulama (religious scholars) are being carried out, but it cannot be implemented in the blink of an eye.

"We need the support and approval of state religious councils and departments to ensure that the female syariah judge is given broader opportunities," he said in reply to Datuk Ismail Kasim (BN-Arau) during question time.

The issue was also raised Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (PAS-Kota Raja), who wanted to know why two female Syariah court judges who were appointed in July were prohibited from adjudicating cases related to marriage and divorce.

The two are Suraya Ramli, 31, and Rafidah Abdul Razak, 39.

Jamil Khir said the Government was very concerned about women, adding that the appointment of the two judges was solely to see women as judges in the Syariah court.

"However, we must understand that each state has its own appointment regulations and constraints," he said. - Bernama

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