April 23, 2012
Kedah DAP against fatwa status amendment
Kedah DAP is against its coalition partner PAS’ action to pass an amendment to the Mufti and Fatwa (Kedah Darul Aman) Enactment which bars people from questioning fatwa (edicts) in any civil or syariah courts.
During a press conference yesterday, state party chief Lee Guan Aik (right) said DAP will be the first to protest should the amendment be enforced. According to a report published in Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily today, the Kota Darul Aman assemblyperson explained that he did not speak out against the amendment in the state assembly due to lack of opportunity.
However, that does not mean the party supports the amendment, he stressed. Lee pointed out that the amendment will affect the rights of non-Muslims which is against DAP’s struggle for a fair, just and democratic society.
“If the amendment is to empower the religious adviser to solve the Al-Salihiyah surau issue, the state government should reconsider because it will involve bigger problems in the future,” he was quoted as saying.
Earlier, Malays rights NGO PERKASA chief and Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali said the amendment was an attempt to torpedo efforts by the NGO’s lawyers to fight the state acquisition of the Al-Salihiyah surau and its land for development purposes.
Several critics including the vocal former Perlis mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin had described the amendment as undemocratic and “kills intellectualism”.Even the Islamic Renaissance Front has greeted the new fatwa ruling with alarm.
However, Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak has defended the amendment, saying the matter should not be politicised. Lee said he will meet with Azizan to seek a written guarantee that the amendment will not affect non-Muslims.