Saturday, October 23, 2021

Guan Eng slams PAS as party with ‘outright hostility’ to non-Muslims

The DAP leader wants the prime minister to explain a bill that will extend a ban on propagating faiths other than Islam to Muslims to the federal territories.

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today urged Ismail Sabri Yaakob to explain a bill on banning the propagation of non-Muslim religions to people of the Muslim faith, saying it was a “PAS proposal” that went against the “Malaysian Family” concept mooted by the prime minister.

Lim also slammed PAS as a party hostile to non-Muslims after an explanation by the minister in charge of Islamic affairs that the proposed law would not affect religious freedom.

“This is due to PAS’ dismal record of outright hostility or failing to respect the non-Muslim community with its leaders wanting to curtail the constitutional rights of non-Muslims or diminish the participation of non-Muslims in everyday life or in the government, not just in matters of religion,” said Lim, ahead of a memorandum of understanding to be signed with Ismail today pledging to ensure political stability to help the country recover from the pandemic.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Ahmad, a PAS leader, had explained that the bill to prevent the propagation of non-Muslim religions among Muslims only applied to the three federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya.

Most states in Malaysia already have enactments banning the propagation of non-Muslim teachings to Muslims, with the exception of Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.

Lim said such a law in the federal territories was unacceptable to many Malaysians, adding that Muslims too had “rejected the proposal from PAS” as it went against the religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution.

“Malaysia, together with Sabah and Sarawak, is a multicultural and multi-religious state, and our diverse communities have lived in harmony and peace,” he said.

Lim also took exception to the name of the bill, the Control on the Propagation of Non-Muslim Religions Bill, saying it was offensive to non-Muslims.

“If the freedom of non-Muslims is respected and the shariah law only applies to adherents of Islam, then the title of the enactment should not be the Control on the Propagation of non-Muslim Religions Bill,” he said.

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