Teresa Kok: The Federal Constitution is Enough, a New Law to Regulate Non-Muslim Religions Is Not Necessary | Malaysia

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Teresa Kok said the current provisions of the constitution already cover what the bill will do. — Photo by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, September 11 – Putrajaya does not have to enact a new law to regulate the spread of non-Muslim religions as the existing provisions of the Federal Constitution provide sufficient cover, DAP MP Teresa Kok said today.

The MP for Seputeh cited Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution as prohibiting the spread of non-Islamic religions to Muslims.

She pointed out that as the supreme law, the provisions of the constitution cover the whole country and therefore there was no need to create new laws for federal territories or other states that do not have no specific promulgations concerning them yet.

“The Federal Constitution is clear to all, and Idris Ahmad does not have to create such laws in federal territories, as this would cause unnecessary suspicion and anxiety between Muslims and non-Muslims,” ​​she said in a press release, responding to the Minister’s explanation yesterday. head of Islamic affairs, Datuk Idris Ahmad, following an outcry over his bill.

Kok suggested that Idris “do his best” as minister to encourage people of different faiths to help each other, especially the poor and marginalized across the country, including federal territories.

“He should rather project the teaching of kindness and charity in Islam to all Malaysians,” she added.

Kok pointed out that many places of worship have been closed or restricted to a limited number of regular worshipers since the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple closures since March last year.

She added that Malaysians are also struggling to survive as the pandemic continues to eat away at their livelihoods and economies.

“This is one of the important issues that needs to be dealt with wisely,” she said.

Controversy over the bill emerged after Idris MP Datuk Ahmad Marzuki Shaary said the government was drafting four new Sharia laws to be tabled in the next session of parliament. One of them is the bill to control and restrict the development of non-Muslim religions.

Yesterday, Idris tried to defuse tensions, saying the issue had been misinterpreted as the proposed bill was only intended to prevent the spread of non-Muslim beliefs to Muslims and would only apply to federal territories – Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

He also said the bill was not new, as 10 states in the country had passed similar laws since the 1980s, and only three states – Penang, Sabah and Sarawak – did not.

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