UMNO AGM Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil urged the government to form a Syariah Lawyers Council to improve the administration of syariah law.
"If today we have the Bar Council, why can't we also have a Syariah Lawyers Council? Why wait so long? Isn't the syariah law on the same level as civil law?
"I believe that with a Syariah Lawyers Council, the administration of syariah law in Malaysia will be improved," she said in her policy speech at the Umno General Assembly at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.
This came after several proposals to form an alternate body to the Malaysian Bar following claims that the Bar Council was pro-opposition. The Bar had denied this.
Shahrizat, who trained as a lawyer, said the Syariah Lawyers Council should be under the Conference of Rulers' purview.
She also proposed that the Syariah Court be strengthened, including by appointing more female judges, bailiffs and providing more legal aid.
On a separate matter, Shahrizat expressed admiration for Umno president Najib Abdul Razak's spirit.
Urging the delegates to mirror Najib, she said the prime minister's "pure heart" was evident through his bid to improve the lives of Malaysian citizens.
"Wanita Umno must be wise in understanding the needs of the people. We must be brave to fight for the right to serve the people," she told 997 delegates at the Wanita Umno meeting.
Shahrizat said the party would remain strong despite challenges from splinter parties if Wanita continued to serve the people.
"Today's politics is not like politics 70 years ago. We are facing extraordinary challenges," she said.
Since the last annual general assembly, former deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and former vice-president Mohd Shafie Apdal had formed splinter parties which opposed Umno and BN.
Muhyiddin was sacked for being vocal against Najib and 1MDB, while Shafie resigned after he was suspended for the same reason.
Muhyiddin's party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu)'s chairperson is Umno's longest-serving president Dr Mahathir Mohamad.- Mkini