Selangor Sultan’s decree will cool matters, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Selangor’s decree for everyone to respect the Federal Court decision to strike out 16 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Enactment should cool rising political temperatures, says the Prime Minister.

It should also put to rest all claims that there is a threat to Islamic laws in the country, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said the government welcomes Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s decree that recognises the position of the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the country.

“The Federal Court’s decision, according to His Royal Highness, must be respected as the court is subject to the supreme law and the spirit of the Constitution.

“There is no issue of belittling the position and function of the Syariah Court,” he said.

The Sultan, who chaired the 71st meeting of National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI), which advises the Conference of Rulers on any matter relating to Islamic religious affairs, made the statement on the state’s royal Facebook page.

“The statement reflects the seriousness of the Sultan of Selangor and MKI to defend the spirit and principles of the Federal Constitution,” Anwar said.

“The Chinese community may not feel the heat, but for the Malays and the Muslims, it (the court’s decision) has turned into a very hot political issue, with insults being hurled at judges, the government and so on,” he said in his address at the Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (ACCCIM) here yesterday.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil, and ACCCIM president Tan Sri Low Kian Chuan.

Anwar said the right channels should be used if there are any suggestions or views on syariah issues. Such views can be referred to the special committee to study issues related to the competencies of the state assemblies to enact Islamic laws. The committee is chaired by former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi.

Anwar acknowledged concerns raised by some Muslims who called for syariah laws to be given recognition and said measures must be taken to strengthen Islamic legislation.

“It must go through a clear process as well with a clear signal that any attempt to strengthen the Syariah Court will not be at the expense of non-Muslims.”

Anwar said the ruling does not mean the rejection of Islam or syariah principles, as wrongly claimed by certain groups.

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