Bandar Seri Begawan - The Minister of Religious Affairs said the draft of the Syariah Criminal Penal Code Order has been completed and is currently in the process of revision with the Attorney General's Chambers before it is implemented as the country's law.
The Syariah Criminal Penal Code (Syariah CPC) is also being studied and has entered its second mention by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council members. Syariah CPC helps to facilitate the implementation of the Order.
"Normally every draft would be read three times. We could imagine how difficult it is to produce an act or regulation," Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abd Rahman said in his speech at a dialogue session with members of the Legislative Council prior to a closed-door meeting with them yesterday.
The annual Legislative Council meeting is expected to convene early next month.
The minister added that with the strong determination of the benevolent ruler and cooperation from all parties involved, Brunei Darussalam made a historic milestone when His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented for the implementation of the Syariah Criminal Penal Code, which was announced during the titah to mark the monarch's 66th birthday.
`As Muslims and citizens of this country, we should be pleased, welcome and be thankful to Allah the Almighty because with such law, the people in this country would be shielded from sins. Its birth is a great success to the nation in the context of legal system as the law is reinstated after 100 years as it was previously known as Brunei Penal Code."
Speaking on the Mandatory Religious Education Order 2012 which came into force January 1, 2013, the minister said it has run smoothly and could be realised with adequate text books and teaching force.
"However, as it is new, there are minor teething problems whereby some parents are more, inclined to send their children to areas not under their catchment, thereby creating overcrowding, discomfort and ineffective teaching and learning. But it can be solved in the future to attain the perfect quality of religious education.
"The Order too is a great success for the nation in the context of religious education since the introduction of modern religious schooling system in 1956. It is timely for the Order to be in place after more than 50 years as we have the capability to implement it now in the aspect of environment, human resource and workforce. The level of education at present is at its best as we have a strong religious education structure from primary to tertiary and university levels. However it needs to be strengthened and beautified from time to time," said the minister.
Touching on the construction of schools, the minister revealed that more priority is given to the Brunei-Muara and Tutong districts judging by the increasing number of students. Recently, Tanjong Maya and Perpindahan Lambak Kanan religious schools were completed and are now in operation.
Another four schools are being constructed in Kg Madewa, Kg Kiulap/Kiarong, Kg Keriam and Kg Kupang. Another three Arabic schools are planned in Kg Rimba, Kg Katok and one in the Temburong District. Over $100 million has been allocated by the government to build these three Arabic school's.
On mosque construction, the minister said mosques have reached their capacity of late especially after the announcement made by His Majesty to temporarily close business premises, public and private institutions from 12 noon to 2pm on Friday.
As a result, more spaces and additional structures are needed in some mosques to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers without affecting the originality of the mosque. "We are thankful to His Majesty for consenting to a budget allocation of more than $100 million to build new mosques amongst others in Kg Mengkubau, Kg Meragang, Kg Tanah jambu and Kg,Lumut.
"Last year, we built four mosques - Ash-Shaliheen in Kg Mabohai, Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anal< Damit in Kg Kilanas, Pengiran Muda Abdul Mateen Mosque in Kg Mulaut and Pengiran Muda Abdul Malik Mosque in Kg Katok.
"Two more mosques have been completed - in Sg Akar and Kg Batong - and will be used soon," the minister added. A briefing on the achievements of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, 10th National Development Plan construction projects, USAI (refurbishment) projects for 2012-2017 and allocated budget for 2012-2013 was also presented by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Awg Hj Abdul Aziz bin OKML Hj Mohd Yusof.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin