Special fund for non-Muslims


  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Apr 2003

BY K. SUTHAKAR

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu has set up a special fund to collect revenue from un-Islamic activities, with the money to be spent on non-Muslims. 

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the RM129,200 licensing fee collected from six conventional pawnshops last year had been channelled into the fund. 

The state would persuade the pawnshop operators to convert to Islamic practices when the six licences expired next year, he said when winding up the speech on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address at the state assembly yesterday. 

Abdul Hadi gave an assurance that the state government would not use any money collected from riba (interest) and other haram (forbidden) sources to pay the salary of its civil servants. 

Earlier, state economic development, petroleum, industrialisation and human resource chairman Datuk Mustafa Ali challenged an opposition assemblyman to repeat outside the House an allegation that a sawmill operator had paid RM1mil to an executive councillor. 

Rosol Wahid (Barisan Nasional – Ajil), however, backed down. He said that he had only heard about it from a “source”. 

The House also passed a bill to amend the state constitution to, among others, appoint up to four assemblymen among non-Muslims and women. 

All 28 PAS assemblymen voted for the amendment to the Laws of the Constitution of Terengganu. There was no objection from Barisan Nasional’s four assemblymen. 

However, Datuk Abu Bakar Ali (BN – Kemasik) initially questioned whether the PAS government was eyeing votes from non-Muslims and women in tabling the bill. 

State Local Government, Housing, Environment and Public Administration committee chairman Datuk Wan Abdul Muttalib Embong explained that those appointed could express their views but would have no voting powers. 

“We only want their representation,” he said. 

The state government did not proceed with its plan to table a motion to censure Abu Bakar for allegedly giving false information to the House on the allocation of land to the poor in Kertih. 

Wan Abdul Muttalib told newsmen later that he decided against tabling the motion “out of pity” for Abu Bakar. 

“I’m sure he did not have a good night’s sleep and this is good enough,” he quipped. 

The House adjourned sine die. 

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