Malaysia Dateline

Akta 355

Hadi’s bill not divine, says Penang mufti

Penang Mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor today cautioned against labelling Muslims who do not agree with the PAS president’s private member’s bill to expand the powers of shariah courts as apostates.

Wan Salim said no one should be forced to accept the bill tabled by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang last May by arguing that Muslims who did not support it had deviated.

His comments came as a PAS division leader said lawmakers who did not support the bill were deviants and should be buried in a non-Muslim cemetery.

The comments aimed at PKR president, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, has since been retracted with an apology.

The bill is slated for debate at the Dewan Rakyat, when the new parliamentary session opens this October.

“I am sad that many religious scholars in this country would easily label Muslims as apostates just because they disagree with a law that seeks to empower the shariah courts,” said Wan Salim.

He reminded that details of the bill had yet to be revealed.

He said while it is obligatory upon a Muslim to accept God’s laws, Hadi’s bill does not count as divine law but just a procedure to amend the shariah legal system.

He said as such, the bill would have its weaknesses and shortcomings.