Saturday, December 8, 2012

DAP to PAS: Act fast on Kelantan enforcers who nabbed non-Muslims for ‘khalwat’

DAP to PAS: Act fast on Kelantan enforcers who nabbed non-Muslims for ‘khalwat’

December 08, 2012
Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The DAP wants its Islamist Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partner to act fast on complaints that errant enforcement officers in the PAS-led Kelantan government had demanded bribes from non-Muslims caught for indecent behaviour to avoid jeopardising the pact ahead of national polls due soon.
Four non-Muslims — two men on a plane-spotting outing and a non-Muslim couple in a Kota Baru park — who were nabbed for “khalwat” (close proximity), a crime under syariah law, had complained the enforcement officers had demanded RM500 “to settle the matter”, English-language daily The Star reported earlier today.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (picture) accused the mainstream media of misreporting the incident, saying the non-Muslims were fined not for khalwat but for indecent behaviour, but still urged PAS to resolve the issue quickly to show neither the party nor the Kelantan
government is corrupt.

“If the Kelantan PAS government fails to act against errant municipal council saboteurs who issue summonses against non-Muslim couples for indecent behaviour, this will adversely undermine PR’s message of respect for freedom of religion and damage existing co-operation within PR,” he said in a statement today.

“Clearly the municipal officers were abusing their powers and urgent action is required to clear the good name of the Kelantan state government of being clean and free from corruption as well as allay concerns that non-Muslim rights are not respected by forcible imposition of Islamic laws,” he added.

The Penang chief minister urged for action by the Kelantan PAS government to prevent the jeopardising of the “mutual trust and strong ties” within PR, saying that he has spoken to PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali about the matter.

Lim also said that his DAP colleague, Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong, would speak with PAS leaders to get an “immediate resolution” on issues related to allegations that non-Muslims were being subjected to Islamic laws.

Recently, non-Muslim hairdressers in Kelantan were reported to have also been slapped with fines for having customers of the opposite gender, breaching a local council by-law that bars women hairstylists from working on men and vice versa — sparking a storm over the position of Islamic laws.

Malaysia practises a dual-track court system but syariah laws can only be enforced on Muslims; non-Muslims are exempt.

As the 13th general election draws near, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has increasingly tried to scare non-Muslim voters from voting for PR by saying that PAS would implement the Islamic penal code, hudud, and create an Islamic state.

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