The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, said syariah judges and officers should carry out their tasks with excellence to leave no room for the people to question their credibility and authority.
The sultan said they should also think of a transformation which could persuade society in the ‘nusantara’ (Malay Archipelago) to recognise the Syariah Court as a judicial institution with its own distinct identity and jurisdiction.
“The Syariah Court needs to be viewed with honour and respect as a prime judicial body for the Muslim community.
“This can be achieved if the syariah court judges and officers possess the qualifications and are able to handle their tasks with high quality and excellence,” the ruler said when opening the Nusantara Syariah Judicial and Legal Conference in Shah Alam today.
Sultan Sharafuddin was accompanied to the opening ceremony by Raja Muda Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah. Also present were Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom.
The sultan urged syariah judges and officers to increase their knowledge, to be in line with the changing times so as to make them more efficient and professional in carrying out their duties.
“I believe they will always be respected and viewed highly and honourably in society, whether it’s a Muslim or non-Muslim society, if every judgment is based on the set Islamic law, and acknowledged and accepted by all in society,” he said.
Sultan Sharafuddin also urged the state government to continue improving the image and appointment of syariah judges and officers so as to balance with their functions which have become increasingly challenging currently.
Meanwhile, Jamil Khir said Syariah Court personnel should continue to be creative and innovative in settling cases involving marriage, divorce, alimony, child custody and so on.
He said there were backlog cases that took too long to be disposed of, causing difficulties to the couples involved, such as in applying for a birth certificate for their child, and other issues.
“I believe the responsibility of empowering the Syariah Court does not lie with only one party or individual, or the government, and is also not dependent on just one or two factors.
“Many factors need to be identified in empowering the Syariah Court, such as manpower, competency, and organisation and structure of the court,” he said.
Some 380 syariah judges and syariah law practitioners from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are attending the three-day conference which began yesterday.