SEPANG:The Syariah Court, which is a syariah judicial and legal institution that upholds Islamic teachings, will continue to be strengthened and empowered  from time to time, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the government was constantly making improvements to the jurisdiction of syariah courts, the appointment of syariah judges and professionalism of court officials.

Speaking at the opening of the 2020 Nusantara Syariah Judicial and Legal Conference (PKPSN 2020) here today, Muhyiddin said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government was always committed in supporting efforts that could contribute towards raising the status of the syariah judicial and legal institutions in Malaysia.

“These continuous improvements will be able to boost the image of the syariah judiciary and law in dealing with the increasingly complex and challenging cases,, as well as meet the needs of the Muslim community as a whole," he added.

Muhyiddin said the use of new technology must be given priority by the administration of the syariah court because without technology, the administration of the Islamic judicial system could be hampered and thus, obstruct implementation of justice, which is demanded in Islam.

He said the implementation of the Movement Control Order (PKP) to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the lives of the people and the country’s administration, including that of the syariah court.

“This included the closure of courts, requiring the judicial system to function under the new normal circumstances, such conducting court proceedings online,” he added.

The prime minister expressed his hope that  the Malaysian Syariah Judiciary Department (JKSM) could take the initiative to create a forum to serve as a medium for exchange of information and best practices for syariah judicial institutions that can be shared with countries in the region,such as Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia.

Through the forum, he said, academic discussions on the function of Maqasid Syariah among countries in the region could be held continuously in helping the government and state religious authorities to seek clarification on Islamic issues.

PKPSN 2020 involved 580 participants, including Syariah judges, court registrars, prosecution officers and syariah officers  from Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore.

The conference themed "Application of Maqasid Al-Syariyyah: Towards Cultivating New Norms in the Syariah Judicial and Legal System", was also attended by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.