KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 ― Wanita Umno has suggested today for a council of Shariah lawyers to be set up to help elevate the administration of Islamic laws in the country.
Wanita Chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abd Jalil said the party's wing wants the council to be placed under and administered by the Conference of Rulers.
"If today we have Bar Council, why can't we have something like Bar Council for Shariah lawyers. Why it is taking so long, isn't Shariah law and civil law equal?” she said in her policy speech at the wing's general assembly at Putra World Trade Centre.
"I believe with the establishment of Shariah Council, the administration of Shariah law in Malaysia will be better.”
The Malaysian Bar, managed by the Bar Council, was established under the Legal Profession Act 1976 and regulates lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia.
In comparison, Shariah laws are under the purview of each state.
According to Shahrizat, said the number of female judges, bailiffs, lawyers and court officers should be increased to further strengthen Shariah courts.
Meanwhile, the Puteri wing also echoed the suggestion in its assembly, saying such a suggestion should be aligned with the empowerment of Shariah courts.
Its chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Shamsuddin said the professionalism and integrity of Shariah lawyers could help resolve delays in divorce cases.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is currently planning to table a private member’s Bill to upgrade the Shariah courts, and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has since announced that the ruling coalition will make it a Government Bill.