KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will appoint its new Chief Syarie Prosecutor before the end of 2017.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif yesterday told the press that the officer had already been identified.
“We are working on it. We have already identified the officer that will be appointed. God willing, in the near future we will appoint (him),” responded Arifin to a question posed by the press yesterday.
“Before this year culminates we will appoint (the person),” he clarified after presenting the Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jheains) officer rank promotion letters to 22 at Wisma Muis here yesterday.
PAS Sabah legal unit head Hamid Ismail recently urged the state government to fill up the Sabah Chief Syarie Prosecutor position that had been left empty since around April this year.
He said the state government should be able to expedite the appointment with the August 7 amendment of the Syariah Court Enactment 2004.
Hamid added a Jheains prosecution unit with the absence of an appointed person to exercise the power to institute or conduct any criminal proceeding at the Syariah Courts could risk a backlog in cases.
“We will refer to the chief judge division, prosecuting division regarding this matter,” said Arifin, who is minister in charge of state Islamic affairs and Sabah Islamic Religious Council (Muis) chairman.
“But so far everything is normal and we have solved cases that had already been brought forward by the prosecution,” he added.
On the Syariah Court’s comfort level for the people, Arifin said Muis had already discussed the matter with the chief judge and had agreed to help.
He said the Syariah Court project was underway and it had already been brought to the attention of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs,Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
“The construction has not started. Now, if I am not mistaken, it is at the tender level,” said Arifin.
In addition, he said the state government would also look into the welfare of those dealing with related matters at the second floor of Wisma Muis.