Kit Siang urges PM to clear the air on new shariah laws

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Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob needs to clear the air if there are plans to restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religions by introducing new shariah laws, Lim Kit Siang said.

The Iskandar Puteri lawmaker said Ismail should meet with the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) to explain if there are any plans to enact new laws targeting non-Muslims.

“Ismail meeting with MCCBCHST will be a good occasion for the new prime minister to renew and reaffirm support for the objectives and principles of the Rukun Negara.

“It is also to show the government’s commitment to strengthening unity in a multiracial, multilingual, multireligious and multicultural nation,” he said in a statement.

Yesterday, MCCBCHST called on Ismail to clarify proposed laws on the new shariah legislation.

Earlier this week, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary was reported to have said the government was in the midst of drafting four new shariah laws, including one to restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religions.

Marzuk had said the three other drafts were of the wakaf, mufti, and shariah court bills.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said there has been no such proposal.

He had said if a proposal was drafted, it would have to be brought to the cabinet and get the agreement of all states.

Lim said the clarification is important as there have been doubts about the commitment of the new government to the objectives of Rukun Negara to ensure strong unity and harmony among Malaysians.

He said the government must achieve and foster better unity among Malaysians.

“Preserve a democratic way of life. Create a just society where the prosperity of the country can be enjoyed together in a fair and equitable manner.

“Ensure a liberal approach towards the rich and varied cultural traditions and build a progressive society that will make use of science and modern technology.”

Lim added that although Malaysians have just celebrated it 64th Merdeka Day and will be celebrating its 58th Malaysia Day in a week’s time, there are increasing signs that the principles of Rukun Negara are not adhered to.

He said the principles of Rukun Negara are not getting the support of the government as it did in the 1970s and 1980s. – TMI