KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob must still explain the Control on the Propagation of non-Muslim Religions Bill despite a PAS minister’s claim that it would only apply to Muslims, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today.
Lim asserted that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Idris Ahmad’s assertion about the Bill could not be taken at face value for lack of credibility.
“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,” Lim said in a statement today.
The former minister further argued that the name of the Bill itself contradicted Idris, pointing out that it expressly said it was aimed at controlling the propagation of non-Muslim faiths.
Lim added that the Bill would still be unacceptable even if it were limited to just the Federal Territories as Idris previously asserted, noting that objections against the proposed law have come from all corners of the country.
“This should not be taken for granted and put at risk by the dangerous policies of PAS ministers that threaten national unity and religious harmony. The prime minister, Ismail Sabri, should clarify that this is not the intent of his government.
“Ismail should clearly and unequivocally reject the PAS proposal, emanating from the extremist and sectarian politics of PAS, because it is contrary and directly threatens his vision of Keluarga Malaysia,” Lim said.
The controversy began when Idris’s deputy announced that the government was drafting four new Shariah laws for this parliamentary meeting, including Control on the Propagation of non-Muslim Religions Bill.
Idris has attempted to defuse tensions by claiming the controversy was due to misinterpretation as the proposed Bill was only to prevent the propagation of non-Muslim beliefs to Muslims and would only apply to the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya.
He also said the Bill was not new as 10 states in the country had similar enactments since the 1980s, and only three states — Penang, Sabah and Sarawak — did not.