MIRI: Non-Muslim lawmakers should not interfere with the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act tabled in Parliament by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on May 26 as they would be interfering in the affairs of Islamic religious law.
“Malaysia will be safe and peaceful if the citizens compromise and respect one another’s religion, and don’t meddle in the affairs and customs of the other ethnic groups in the country,” state Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) commissioner Jofri Jaraiee said in his press statement to The Borneo Post yesterday.
According to Jofri who is also Miri Pas chief, the state PAS supported the Private Member’s Bill tabled by Abdul Hadi. Article 11 of the Constitution in the chapter of freedom of religion entitles every person the right to profess and practice his or her religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate.
Clause (4) State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, the federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam. Jofri regretted that some people tried to block and oppose the amendment to Act 355 brought by Abdul Hadi, whereas it was for Muslims only.
“Where is the freedom adherent of Islam to practice their religion in accordance with Article 11 of the Constitution?
“Sarawak PAS supports the Private Member’s Bill, Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Act 355 brought by the president because it is related to the Islamic religion and has nothing to do with other religions,” he asserted.
In the Constitution, it is clearly stated that all religions are free to practice their teachings and likewise with Islam they also have the right to implement Sharia law in the country without any restrictions as long as it does not violate the Constitution.
He added that the purpose of the amendments was to strengthen the existing Syariah law system in line with current developments. Jofri hoped that Sarawak MPs would give a chance to the bill to be discussed in Parliament sitting.