DAP welcomes the statement made by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that Islamic morality by-laws implemented by the Kota Bharu Municipal Council are not meant to be expanded and implemented on non-Muslims. Hadi was referring to the municipal summons imposed on hair-dressing shops in Kota Baru against hair-dressers who serve customers of the opposite sex, even though both are non-Muslims.
DAP welcomes such reassurances following active communication by DAP leaders over the past few days with the PAS leadership culminating in an informal meeting yesterday in Parliament House. The DAP CEC at its CEC meeting last night considers the reaffirmation by PAS that it views seriously the concerns of non-Muslim and that implementation of laws based on Islamic principles must not be forcibly imposed on non-Muslims as a positive step that will serve to reinforce Pakatan Rakyat’s commitment towards justice for all and the moderation of PAS in upholding freedom of religion.
Unlike UMNO which wants to impose Islamic laws on non-Muslims, PAS has taken a more enlightened position in wanting to apply Islamic laws only on Muslims. Further PAS has taken the moderate position of allowing the use of the word Allah in the Bible as compared to UMNO which is trying to ban it.
For this reason, DAP hopes that the summons issued on non-Muslim hairdressers serving non-Muslims of the opposite sex will be cancelled as soon as possible and the necessary revisions made in the by-laws so as not to include non-Muslims. Newspapers today quoted both the Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat as saying that there was an oversight by the authorities in not considering the consequences of syariah-based by-laws on non-Muslims and Kelantan EXCO member Mohd Fadzil Hassan as saying the Kelantan government would hold a discussion on the controversial ruling with non-Muslim community representatives and business operators.
The readiness of the Kelantan PAS state government to admit to an oversight is a stark contrast to the stubborn refusal by UMNO to admit to mistakes made such as UMNO’s revocation of funding for Sekolah Agama Rakyat after losses suffered in the 1999 general elections. Funding was only given out by the PR state government annually to Sekolah Agama Rakyat and other Chinese, Tamil and missionary schools after PR won 5 states in the 2008 general elections.
LIM GUAN ENG