Ignorance of law is no defence, people told

National 1 minute, 11 seconds


OFFENDERS of the Syariah Penal Code will be liable to punishments even if they are not aware of committing an offence under the Islamic criminal law, said an official from the State Mufti’s Office.

Dr Hj Japar Hj Mat Dain @ Maidin said it is the responsibility of members of the public to learn and understand the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.

As Muslims in this country, they should already know the offences stipulated in the Syariah law, he said during a briefing to youth, Muslimah (group of housewives and retirees learning Al-Quran) and officers of Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah.

“The (Ministry of Religious Affairs) has held many Syariah briefings about the offences to the public.

“The Syariah Penal Code (book) is being sold for $5. So, it is the job of each individual to learn about the upcoming law,” he added.

Dr Hj Japar was responding to a woman’s question whether young offenders who are unaware of the Syariah Penal Code would be pardoned.

Hj Afif Daraina PDH Badaruddin, an officer from the Attorney General’s Chambers, further said in a scenario where a person failed to perform Friday prayers, ignorance about the Syariah law would be rejected. “Ignorance is not a defence. If you commit an act that violates the Syariah law, you are liable. You cannot escape the punishment just because you do not know about it,” he added.

The Brunei Times