PETALING JAYA: The G25 group of prominent Malays supports the stance taken by the Conference of Rulers in condemning the actions of individuals and groups who put Malaysian harmony at risk.
"The members of G25 are proud to have the Malay Rulers who stand united as leaders against the extremism that is spreading in our country. We are so thankful that our Rulers have not remained silent where others have," it said in a statement on Wednesday.
The group said the Malay Rulers have taken a crucial leadership role by protecting the good name of Islam and safeguarding racial harmony from an existential threat to the nation.
It said the actions taken by these individuals and groups reflected an ever-increasing move away from moderate Islam and Malaysia which contradicts the government's international stance.
"These actions by the extremist few pose a very serious threat to the peace, harmony and stability to our beloved nation and must be nipped in the bud right now," it said.
It also called on the government to take a "clear and firm" stand and to "urgently and decisively" put a stop to the rise of religious extremism, intolerance, and bigotry in not just individuals and groups, but also within religious enforcement agencies and independent preachers.
It also urged for action to be taken against those who promote hatred, mischief and disunity.
"This attitude of racial and religious supremacy is not only divisive but will have a negative impact on the social, economic and political stability of the country," it said.
The group also pointed out its concerns about the ambiguity of certain Syariah criminal laws and the lack of accountability of religious institutions and authorities.
"The time is opportune for the federal and state governments to review the Syariah Offences, Acts and Enactments which give religious authorities broad powers," said G25.
It added that these laws "are seriously lacking in clear definitions which can be abused and indeed, have been abused".
G25 also said that religious departments must be monitored to ensure that they do not abuse their powers.
"Those who are guilty of abusing their powers must be held accountable," said G25.
The group also said the supremacy of the Federal Constitution and the rights of the Malay Rulers must be upheld as religion comes under the purview of the Malay Rulers.
The group added that the reputation of the country and Islam as champions of moderation, respect and tolerance was at stake, as was the peace and unity of Malaysians.
"The diversity of our nation is our strength and our bond," it said.