Anti-propagation law proposal violates the Federal Constitution, says Wanita MCA

PETALING JAYA: Wanita MCA strongly criticises the proposal of the anti-propagation law and any attempt to restrict the freedom of religion of non-Muslims, damage social contracts as well as violate the Federal Constitution.

Its national chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said Malaysia is a multiracial country and the Federal Constitution clearly provides for the freedom of religion for all.

“MCA strongly criticises the proposed tabling of the Bill by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary.

“We would also like to remind Datuk Ahmad Marzuk that he has overstepped his power when attempting to interfere in non-Muslim affairs, which is under the Unity Ministry.

“As a deputy minister, he should work for the well-being of all the people and not confine himself to party agenda and narrow-mindedness, which is clearly against the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia,” she said on Thursday (Sept 16).

Heng was opening the Wanita MCA annual general meeting and Malaysia Day celebration for all states, which was conducted virtually this year.

A total of 4,377 delegates from 11 states took part in the online AGM.

She was commenting on a statement by Ahmad Marzuk, who earlier said the government planned to draft four new syariah laws, including the Control on the Propagation of non-Muslim Religions Bill.

She said what Ahmad Marzuk said was contradicting Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar’s comment on Sept 7 that the plan to draft new syariah laws has not been raised in Cabinet because matters involving religion were under the jurisdiction of the states.

“It is better for Datuk Ahmad Marzuk to use the right channels, especially when it touches on sensitive issues,” she added.

Heng also lauded the High Court decision on Sept 9 that affirmed Malaysian women's equal rights under the Federal Constitution, to confer citizenship automatically on their children born abroad to foreigners.

“However, it is disappointing when the government states it will appeal the case. Regardless, Wanita MCA will join forces with other women’s organisations to fight.

“We hope the Court of Appeal will consider the difficulties facing the women and uphold the High Court’s decision,” she said.

Heng noted that more than 150 countries allow equal rights to men and women to pass on their citizenship to their children while Malaysia is one of the 25 countries that have not done so.

“This contradicts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) that Malaysia signed in 1995, and violates Article 8(2) (Amendment 2001) of the Federal Constitution on equal rights between the sexes.

“The High Court judgment was a decision that complies with Cedaw and the Federal Constitution, which it should be.

“We hope the government and all parties supporting this decision prove Malaysia's sincerity in implementing equal rights between the sexes,” she said.

With Malaysia having gone through much politically with “three premiership changes in three years”, Heng said it was high time for all political leaders to set aside their differences and work for the people following the signing of the bipartisan Memorandum of Understanding.

“Let’s unite to fight the Covid-19 pandemic as well as put the needs of the people first.

“We also call on all elected representatives to go down to the field and deliver diligently and responsibly.

“Focus on each constituency and utilise the allocation from the Federal Government to serve and help solve the people’s problems,” she said, adding that Wanita MCA supports fully the House of Representatives Recall Bill proposed by MCA to deter party-hopping.

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