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Section 139 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act

Response to parliamentary question on when Section 139 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act was enacted and whether there is a plan to raise the financial penalty for those who contravene this law

Question

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs (a) when was Section 139 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act enacted; and (b) whether there is a plan to increase the fine amount, which currently is not exceeding $2,000.

Response

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs & Minister for Social and Family Development:

  1. Section 139 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) was enacted in 1966, and imposes criminal sanctions on those who promulgate false doctrines. This section was amended in 1999.
  2. Offences under the AMLA are reviewed periodically to ensure they are consistent with broader legal policies and are effective in deterring offenders. Any attempt to apply legislation to religious matters must be carefully considered. In the case of deviant teachings, I previously shared that MUIS seeks to address these problems at their root, by adopting a multi-pronged approach of counselling individuals and inoculating the public against harmful ideologies.

Last updated on 13 September 2021