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Friday, August 21, 2009

Muhyiddin: Abide by Fatwa Council’s decision

By NELSON BENJAMIN and AUSTIN CAMOENS

PAGOH: Spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat should admit his mistake and repent for his recent remarks on who is to go to heaven or hell after death, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the National Fatwa Council had decided that Nik Aziz’s statement was wrong and contrary to Islamic teachings.

He stressed that the decision of the committee must be accepted by all Muslims and could not be disputed as it was based on studies and had the consent of the Conference of Rulers.

Speaking to reporters after a one-day working visit and meet-the-people session at his constituency here yesterday, Muhyiddin chided Nik Aziz, asking him if he preferred to give his views via the media only because he could blame the papers later on for “misquoting” him.

It was reported that the council made the decision on Wednesday, in line with the decree made in 2000 that only Allah could decide who should go to heaven.

On a proposal by the Home Ministry to amend the Police Act to allow the public to assemble at specific places without having to obtain a police permit, Muhyiddin said the move reflected the openness of the Barisan Nasional government in wanting to give the people freedom to express themselves.

He said that based on current developments, the people needed a platform to state their opinions but in a controlled environment.

“This is also one way of giving them an avenue for expression because we cannot restrict opinions. They will not become too emotional so as to cause chaos,” he said.

Home Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had announced the proposed amendment of several Acts including the Police Act to enable the people to assemble at specific places without having to obtain a police permit.

On his one-day walkabout in his constituency, Muhyiddin added that it was important for party leaders especially those holding positions to go down and meet with the public and see for themselves the problems faced.

In Kota Baru, Nik Aziz questioned the council’s decision, saying it was unprofessional, Syed Azhar reports.

“How can the council make decisions based on newspaper reports? They should have checked out the facts from me before deciding. This is unprofessional,” he told reporters at his office yesterday. - The Star.

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