Mujahid: Proposed amendments to Penal Code to address religious insults

Mujahid said that the proposed amendments were not only related to Islam, but also covered other religions in the country. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Mujahid said that the proposed amendments were not only related to Islam, but also covered other religions in the country. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — The proposed amendments to the Penal Code (Act 574) is to provide heavier penalties to those who have insulted the religions, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa.

He said the proposed amendments had been agreed in essence and expected to be brought up in the Cabinet meeting in the near future before being tabled at the Dewan Rakyat sitting next month.

The amendments to the Act would see more severe penalties awaiting offenders, in addition to tightening several prosecution processes including the standard operating procedures (SOP) in court.

“We propose the amendments to be made as we feel that there is already such provision in the Penal Code and we just want to tighten it with heavier penalties,” he told reporters after delivering a speech at the launch of the mosque standard rating at the Federal Territory Mosque here, today.

Mujahid said that the proposed amendments were not only related to Islam, but also covered other religions in the country.

“(The proposed amendment encompasses) issues such as causing hate among religions, creates an issue to cause discord and anger between religions are also included in the context of religious hatred.

“That's why we see this (the amendment) will offer broader definition and of course, whoever insults the Prophet will also be included in this specific clause to be created with set conditions that have yet to be determined,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Mujahid said the Pakatan Harapan government was highly committed in the issue of maintaining the glory of Islam and the unity of all religions in Malaysia as a whole.

“Do not mess with us, you can play politics by saying that we care less when comes to religion, you can politically say that you are the one who cares about religion but you are playing with dangerous game here. This is not about politics and parties, this issue is very dangerous as it involves the sentiment of the Muslims.

“That’s why I want to emphasise that we prioritise all issues and the existing laws will be strengthened to prevent people from criticising Islam and other religions,” he said.

At the event, Mujahid also presented the letters of appointment to the committee members of 86 mosques and 109 suraus in the Federal Territory for the 2018-2020 term. — Bernama