After furore, minister says Constitution, state laws already restrict propagation of other religions among Muslims

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The senator from Islamist party PAS said Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution already restricts the propagation of any religions among Muslims in the Federal Territories. — Bernama pic
The senator from Islamist party PAS said Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution already restricts the propagation of any religions among Muslims in the Federal Territories. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Idris Ahmad has blamed out of context reporting for the furore against a proposed Bill that aims to control the propagation of non-Muslim religions.

The senator from Islamist party PAS said Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution already restricts the propagation of any religions among Muslims in the Federal Territories.

“The Bill is nothing new, 10 Malaysian states had approved the same enactments since the 1980s, except for four which are Federal Territories, Pulau Pinang, Sabah and Sarawak,” he said in a statement.

Idris accused several quarters of blowing the issue up following remarks by his deputy Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary, also from PAS, saying the Bill will be part of 11 laws set to be enacted by the new Perikatan Nasional government to strengthen the position of Islam here.

He said the proposed law will only apply in the Federal Territories, and the other three states where its implementation will depend on each state assembly.

“The Bill still needs policy approval from the Cabinet, consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as well as passed in the Parliament,” he said.

He also said federal Islamic authority Jakim has studied the matter which will ensure that the proposed Bill will not breach the Federal Constitution.

“I hope that this issue is not polemicised by certain parties and threaten the harmony and unity of ‘Keluarga Malaysia’,” he said, referring to the administration’s concept of Malaysian Family.

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