Zahid: We’ll strengthen syariah law if we win big

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has pledged to strengthen syariah law through constitutional amendments if it wins a two-thirds majority in the next general election, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the recent High Court decision that allowed non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” has had a huge impact on syariah law.

“Recently, the High Court made a ruling on the use of ‘Allah’ by a non-Muslim. The decision had touched the feelings of Muslims in the country.

“The decision has the potential to nullify other enactments under the syariah law, or might even paralyse the whole system, ” he said.

He said the decision might also affect the power of the states to enact syariah laws and also affect the powers of the Malay Rulers.

On March 15, the government said it was appealing against the High Court decision.

On March 10, Justice Nor Bee Ariffin, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, ruled that a 1986 Home Ministry directive that prohibited the use of the words “Allah”, “Baitullah”, “Kaabah” and “solat” by non-Muslims was illegal and unconstitutional.

This follows the court’s decision to allow a judicial review by a Christian woman of Melanau descent, Jill Ireland.

The legal action was initiated some 13 years ago in 2008 when eight CDs she brought in from Indonesia were confiscated by Customs officers at an airport in Sepang as they contained the word “Allah”.

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