According to an article in TheStar, “Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) cannot raid the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) because Syariah laws do not apply to non-Muslims or non-Islamic agencies.”
I think that people who do not understand the law, should neither make uninformed comments on the law, nor should they become law makers. Maybe Universiti Malaya should withdraw the Law degree that they have conferred on him as he is not tendering proper legal advice.
We need to institute an qualification examination, explicitly to filter out uninformed people like Ngeh. Article 11 of our constitution states that:
- Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it.
- No person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specially allocated in whole or in part for the purposes of a religion other than his own.
- Every religious group has the right –
(a) to manage its own religious affairs;
(b) to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes; and
(c) to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with law.
- State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.
- This Article does not authorize any act contrary to any general law relating to public order, public health or morality.
If the DUMC are being accused of prostelysing to Muslims, the law draws its powers from the Federal Constitution while the specific sections are governed by State Law, not Syariah Law.
Of course, the onus is on the authorities to prove that the law has been broken in this case. If it was, the organisers of the dinner should be hauled to civil court (not a Syariah one).
Nothing to see except a Lawyer Beruk blabbering away.