PETALING JAYA: The MCA has questioned whether the Pahang Malay and Islamic Customs Council (MUIP) has the constitutional right and jurisdiction to bar non-Islamic materials and symbols from the guest rooms and public reading areas of all the 147 hotels in the state.
Pahang MCA chief Datuk Hoh Khai Mun said the hotels were commercial entities registered with and governed by the Companies Commission of Malaysia, formed under civil law.
“Reading materials or symbols, such as religious scripture, images or verses, are not limited to physical copies but could be easily found online and downloaded,” he said, commenting on the reported directive by MUIP on March 6 to hoteliers in the state.
Hoh welcomed the assurance by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob that he would seek an audience with the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is also MUIP president, to discuss the issue.
“Our party hopes for an amicable outcome to this controversy. MUIP’s directive is open to broadsweeping interpretation,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
Hoh said Kelantan and Selangor, two states under the Pakatan Rakyat, were examples of religious or local councils exacting authority over non-Muslims.
These included the plan for hudud capital punishment in Kelantan, where its local councils had previously issued summonses against non-Muslim hair salon operators who allowed stylists to cut the hair of customers of the opposite gender.
He also cited the action of the Selangor Islamic affairs department (Jais) on Jan 2 to confiscate 321 bibles in Malay and Iban from the Bible Society of Malaysia.
“Non-Muslims in Pahang hope that our state will not descend down this similar road where religious authorities or local councils interfere and infringe unto the personal sphere and commercial entities of non-Muslims,” he said.