Sabah passes Bill to outlaw Islamic deviancy

A boy recites the Quran at Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam May 22, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A boy recites the Quran at Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam May 22, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 6 — The Sabah assembly passed an amendment today to its Shariah laws that will outlaw Islamic teachings other than the Sunni denomination.

The Bill proposed by Laws and Native Affairs minister Datuk Aidi Mokhtar adds the official definition to the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1995, effectively restricting other denominations.

A new Section 52A will be added to make the propagation of deviant teachings punishable by up to two years’ in prison and a maximum fine of RM3,000.

“The Bill and its amendment are to prevent the spreading of deviant teachings that is too extreme in nature to prevent confusion and security threats among the people in Sabah,” Aidi said in his speech.

Aidi said that the amendment was to preserve the purity of Islam in the state and to prevent the spread of deviancy that may threaten harmony.

Membakut assemblyman Datuk Ariffin Arif, the former minister in charge of religious affairs before the change of government last year, lauded the move and said it would help prevent the spread of deviancy.

“But we are not at a worrying stage yet. This is just a preventative move, to keep things peaceful,” he said.

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