Leave religious matters to relevant bodies, political parties told

(The Star) – MCA respects the position of Islam in the country but does not want political parties to claim authority over religious matters, said its central committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker.

He said there were already institutions authorised to regulate Islamic matters and political parties should allow them to perform their duties.

“The public should not confuse political parties with institutions like the National Fatwa Council. No political party should encroach into the jurisdiction and authority of these institutions,” Ti told reporters here yesterday.

He said MCA respected the law and the Federal Constitution but it would not tolerate political parties that ran foul of and sidelined the Islamic institutions by implementing their own version of the law.

“The hudud law that is to be implemented by PAS is inconsistent and not in line with real Islamic law. For example, the PAS spiritual leader has said that this would be enforced on non-Muslims as well.

“From time to time, PAS also amend its law to fit its political agenda. So, it cannot be said that PAS law is the same with hudud law,” he said.

Ti, who is also Kuantan MCA chairman, said the division would continue to support party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek in voicing public concerns on PAS’ version of hudud.

“It is a flaw to say that we cannot comment when a political party wants to legislate laws in whatever form in the name of Islam.

“It is not right to intimidate or threaten non-Muslims who have questions and want explanations,” he added.

Hundreds of members from 12 Muslim NGOs had earlier gathered at the Kuantan MCA headquarters to hand over a memorandum demanding that Dr Chua retract his statements, which they claimed had insulted hudud and Islam.

Ti said he regretted the manner in which the group had gathered, adding that they were shouting “aggressively” in a provocative manner.

He also slammed the group for being selective when DAP chairman Karpal Singh himself had also spoken against hudud.