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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Ngeh apologises over syariah committee proposal


Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham has apologised and withdrawn his proposal for the government to include non-Muslim experts in the special committee to review the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

Ngeh said his statement follows 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,” said the DAP lawmaker.

Ngeh added that he was expecting the process to include proposals to amend the Federal Constitution.

“My suggestion was to ensure that all views are taken into account before any constitutional amendment proposal is made,” he explained.

Yesterday, 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.

‘Decree came at the right time’

Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said the sultan’s reminder should put an end to statements from politicians who failed to understand Malaysia's political realities as a whole.

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari

"The Selangor sultan’s decree came at the right time while serving to stop any politicians who failed to understand the full reality of politics in Malaysia,” said Amirudin in a statement today.

On Thursday, Ngeh proposed that non-Muslim constitutional experts should be appointed to the advisory committee chaired by former chief justice Zaki Azmi.

Ngeh at the time noted that all 11 members of the committee are Muslims, and so he suggested the inclusion of non-Muslim experts to incorporate their views concerning relevant constitutional provisions.

His remarks prompted criticisms not only from political rivals but also from partners in government Umno, as well as DAP colleagues, including Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan.

Yesterday, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said Ngeh misunderstood the source of power behind the committee that reviews syariah courts’ jurisdiction as per the Federal Constitution. - Mkini

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