English daily ‘The Star’ reported a source saying that the decision will allegedly reaffirm the authority of the Malay Rulers as the custodians of the Islamic faith. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Federal Islamic authority the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will reportedly be placed under the purview of the Malay Rulers following a Conference of the Rulers meeting.
English daily The Star reported a source saying that the decision will allegedly reaffirm the authority of the Malay Rulers as the custodians of the Islamic faith.
“It will help clear any doubts and confusion about the jurisdiction and authority of Jakim,” the source was reported saying.
Jakim is currently under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department, overseen by a minister in the department in charge of Islamic affairs who is currently Idris Ahmad from Islamist party PAS.
The agency oversees federal Islamic affairs, which includes enacting and streamlining Shariah laws, managing Islamic education and Islamic administration.
Meanwhile, the Malay Rulers oversee Islamic affairs in each of their states as the head of the religion as per the Eighth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, Islamic affairs fall under the jurisdiction of each state, except in the Federal Territories.
The Star also reported that the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, was appointed to chair the National Religious Council, which will likely oversee Jakim.
The tenure will reportedly run for two years, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as his deputy.
In Budget 2022, a total of RM1.5 billion was allocated to Islamic affairs under the Prime Minister’s Department, which also covers Jakim’s expenses.
Jakim started off as a National Council for Islamic affairs in the late 1960s, before changing to the Religious Division in the Prime Minister’s Department in mid-1970s.
Jakim was officially formed in 1997 under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first administration.