Zahid disappointed over attempts to undermine bid to empower Syariah Courts

ARFA YUNUS


KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has expressed disappointment with certain quarters who have tried to undermine efforts to empower the Syariah Courts.


He said, those who do not share the same faith as Muslims, should reserve their comments instead of opposing the effort.


"These are efforts by the ulama and those who love the religion and they want to empower the Syariah system with increased punishments which will empower Islam.


"But we are sad when there are quarters who question the efforts. To those people or groups who do not share the same faith as us, they should not teach us how to strengthen our religion," he said at the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) Junior Science Colleges (MRSM) Ulul Albab convention here today.


Zahid was referring to the Pas' private member's bill, also known as RUU 355 which seeks to increase the Syariah Courts’ punishment caps to 30 years jail, a fine of up to RM100,000 and up to 100 strokes of the cane.


Currently, the Syariah criminal punishment is capped at three years’ prison term, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.


Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, called on Malaysians to respect Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which states Islam as the religon of the federation.


"As a multicultural country, we do not wish to talk about other religions. We respect each other's religion, race and background.


"You are with your religion and I'm with mine. Please respect my religion if you want me to respect your religon," he added.