KUALA LUMPUR: The edicts (fatwas) on vaping and smoking, among others, issued by the National Fatwa Council are not legally binding until they are gazetted at state level, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
Jamil Khir said the Federal Constitution noted that all religious matters, including fatwas, fall under the purview of the state government.
“The gazetting process of any fatwa or decisions made by the National Fatwa Council falls under the purview of each states’ religious body,” he told Ahmad Baihaki Atiqullah (PAS-Kubang Kerian) during Question Time.
Ahmad Baihaki had asked about efforts that had been taken to strengthen the Council, to ensure that it has more authority and can be enforced on Muslims.
Jamil Khir said the decisions made by the Council should be followed up and gazetted in all 14 states to ensure that it can be streamlined and enforced legally.
“It is up to the muftis and their line-up to bring back the matter to their own states.
“Such matters will be brought up for discussion at the state level and they will decide if they want to gazette the fatwa.
“After it is gazetted, only then there is a locus standi for action to be taken,” he said.
“We also understand that some states do not follow through even when a fatwa was issued at the national level they do not face the problem in their state,” said Jamil Khir.
Jamil Khir stressed that such laws gazetted at the state level can only be enforced on Muslims.-The Star Online