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Khamis, Jun 20, 2024

Sabah rejects plan for law restricting propagation of non-Muslim religions

Sabah has become the first state to reject Putrajaya’s plan to introduce a new syariah law that restricts propagation of non-Muslim religions.

In a statement, Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor cited the state’s longstanding harmony as a reason behind the decision.

“Sabah is a state which has a population made of people from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds, who have been living in harmony and peace.

“Although we have many ethnicities and our own set of beliefs, we have always respected each other without any problem.

“So, Sabah is saying no to the government’s proposal to introduce the Control and Restriction on the Propagation of Non-Muslim Religions Bill,” said Hajiji.

Two days ago, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said the federal government plans to draft four new syariah laws, including a bill that will restrict other religions from propagating their beliefs in Malaysia.

He said the proposals were part of the government’s plan to strengthen syariah law in Malaysia, especially in the federal territories.

The other three laws are the Wakaf Bill, Mufti Bill, and Syariah Court Bill.

Following Marzuk’s statement, a group representing adherents of major non-Muslim religions urged Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to clear the air, especially on laws that target non-Muslims.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the plans have yet to be brought to the cabinet for discussion.

He added that before they could be tabled in the Parliament, the bills must first be consented to by all states.