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Anwar Stands Firmly Behind Sultan of Selangor’s Plea for Non-Interference in Islamic Affairs

In a resolute show of support, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has endorsed Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s recent call for individuals, particularly those outside the Muslim faith, to exercise restraint and refrain from interfering in matters pertaining to Islamic affairs in Malaysia. Anwar, utilizing his social media platform, not only backed the Sultan’s plea but also advocated for a constructive approach by addressing concerns through written communication to the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia (MKI) to ensure a harmonious and civilized resolution.

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Sultan’s Assertion of MKI’s Competence:

Sultan Sharafuddin, who also serves as the chairman of MKI, underscored the council’s competence in managing all aspects of Islamic affairs. Emphasizing the council’s diverse expertise, particularly in law and Islamic studies, the Sultan expressed confidence in MKI’s ability to responsibly handle the entrusted matters. He urged politicians, especially those from non-Muslim backgrounds, to refrain from persistent interference, proposing a model of religious coexistence wherein individuals of different faiths emulate the Muslim practice of respecting the autonomy of diverse religions within Malaysia.

Controversial Proposal and Backlash:

The Sultan’s statement was prompted by a proposal put forth by Beruas Member of Parliament, Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham. Ngeh suggested the inclusion of experts from non-Muslim communities in the recently established Special Committee to Study the Competence of the State Legislative Assembly in Enacting Islamic Laws. This proposal, intended to incorporate non-Muslim perspectives, ignited a wave of criticism from various quarters. Notably, Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar deemed the suggestion entirely baseless, underlining the delicate intersection of religious considerations and political discourse in Malaysia.

Political Dynamics and Public Response:

The controversy surrounding Ngeh Koo Ham’s proposal has exposed the nuanced dynamics at the intersection of religion and politics in Malaysia. The negative reactions from influential quarters, including the Minister of Religion, UMNO, and leaders of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), underscore the sensitivity of the issue. As the nation grapples with these intricacies, the incident serves as a focal point for evaluating the delicate balance required in navigating religious considerations within the broader political landscape.