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Sunday, December 31, 2023

Despite apology, PAS wants probe on Ngeh over syariah committee proposal


PAS has urged the authorities to take action against Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham for allegedly inciting issues on race, religion and royalty.

This is over the lawmaker’s proposal for the government to include non-Muslim experts in the special committee to review the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court, for which he has since retracted and apologised.

In a statement, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (above) said action against the DAP leader was necessary to dispel the perception that only Perikatan Nasional was barred from raising 3R issues, not government leaders.

“DAP once again showed its influence in the Pakatan Harapan-BN government by issuing a statement touching on Islamic matters, which is sensitive.

“...Although Ngeh has apologised and DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said that the former’s statement is a personal one, the people have seen DAP's tendency to never stay silent and interfere in Islamic affairs.

“Sensitive statements like this should not have been made by a member of the DAP central committee,” he said.

Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham

The former minister added that Ngeh had a history of speaking on Islamic affairs, having previously questioned how a marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim abroad could be recognised in the country.

Tuan Ibrahim also raised Ngeh’s remarks in 2014, urging Muslims to respect that religious freedom under the Federal Constitution also protects a person's right to leave a religion.

Apostasy is forbidden in Islam and is a syariah criminal offence in several states.

Ngeh had apologised over his syariah committee proposal yesterday, after receiving clarifications on the formation of the committee to advise the National Islamic Affairs Council, chaired by Selangor ruler, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

“As it has been clarified that the special committee was formed by the National Islamic Affairs Council headed by the Selangor sultan, which I was not aware of earlier, I hereby withdraw my proposal and tender my sincere apology.

“I have no intention whatsoever to interfere in Islamic affairs,” Ngeh stated.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah

Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah reminded the people - especially the non-Muslims - to respect and not to interfere in matters related to Islam in the country.

Sultan Sharafuddin said the National Islamic Affairs Council is entrusted with the responsibility to oversee all matters related to the Muslim community, adding that the council comprises experts knowledgeable in various fields, particularly those involving Islamic law and religion. - Mkini

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