GEORGE TOWN – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement to non-Muslims in the state on the “Allah” word issue clearly shows that he does not understand the functions, responsibilities and scope of jurisdiction of the Islamic religious authorities in the country.
State Umno liaison chief, Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman said Lim should have referred to Penang mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor, Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP) and the state exco member in charge of Islamic religious affairs before making any statement on Islamic administration in the state.
“His (Lim) statement saying that Section 48(3) and Section 48(4) of the Penang Islamic Administration Enactment 2004, gazetted in April 2010, could not be enforced or was not applicable to non-Muslims is a provocation towards the sensitivities of Muslims and could cause religious tension in the state.
“It also shows the chief minister’s confusion and ignorance of the enforcement of the fatwa under the enactment which had received the consent of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah,” Zainal Abidin said in a statement, here, Sunday.
Lim had reportedly on Friday, given permission to non-Muslims in Penang to use the kalimah Allah, saying the prohibition of its use by non-Muslims under the enactment was not applicable and enforceable on non-Muslims.
Zainal Abidin said Lim’s statement also conflicted with that of the late DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who in January had asked the chief minister and Penang government to seek a judicial review as the (prohibition) fatwa was applicable to non-Muslims in the state.
“The Penang Fatwa Council’s decision was in line with the National Fatwa Council’s made in May 2008 and also with the decision of the Federal Court in the case involving prohibition of the use of the “Allah” word by The Herald magazine.
“Section 3 of the Penang Islamic Administration Enactment 2004 clearly states that the executive power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the head of Islam in Penang can only be delegated to the Yang Dipertua Negeri.
“Therefore, the Penang chief minister has no jurisdiction over Islamic religious administration in the state,” he said.
Zainal Abidin also called on MAIPP head Datuk Salleh Man and state exco member in charge of Islamic religious affairs Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim to state their stand on Lim’s statement to avoid confusion among Muslims over the matter. – BERNAMA