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Malik calls PAS’ bluff on re-appointment of state mufti

Penang Islamic affairs exco clarifies that former state mufti Hassan Ahmad was not dropped but reappointed four times after Allah fatwa was gazetted.

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GEORGE TOWN: The Penang PAS Youth leader has slandered the state by alleging that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng ordered the last state mufti to be dropped following the Kalimah Allah fatwa and that Lim had interfered in matters of Islamic edicts, the Penang government said today.

State Islamic affairs exco Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said the state government had in fact renewed the contract of the former Penang mufti Hassan Ahmad four times after the Kalimah Allah fatwa was gazetted.

In a statement today, Malik said Kalimah Allah, along with 39 other sacred words or verses, was gazetted as fatwa in the state in April 2010 when Hassan was mufti, a post he held until 2014.

“After the Kalimah Allah fatwa was gazetted, Hassan’s contract was renewed every year, or four times, until 2014.”

The current state mufti Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor assumed the position in June 2014, he said.

Malik also said it was former opposition leader and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, not Lim, who advised him on matters of Islam.

“On most matters to do with Islamic affairs and development in Penang, I got direct advice from Anwar.

“Anwar made recommendations and gave approval for the appointments of the state mufti, Penang Islamic Council president and councillors. Lim never interfered in these matters.”

Earlier this week, Penang PAS Youth chief Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamuddeen claimed Hassan was dropped because he objected to Lim’s order on the use of the word “Allah”.

He said on his Facebook page that after the Kalimah Allah fatwa was gazetted, Lim ordered the state religious affairs committee to make sure all fatwa were made known to the state exco before being sent to the king for assent.

It was reported that Lim issued a statement in December 2014 allowing non-Muslims in Penang the use of the Arabic word “Allah” for God.

The Federal Court in mid-2014 ruled that the Catholic Church’s Herald Malaysia newsletter could not use the Arabic word for God.

Malik said the accusations were “slanderous and malicious against the chief minister”.

“A person who understands Islam and its teachings should know the sin of slandering another.

“A person who is an ustaz should not make reckless accusations against the state government, even if they are directed at a non-Muslim leader. Allah forbids it,” he said.

He said the state did not wish to prolong the polemic, adding that Wan Salim had also explained that the state had never interfered in fatwa matters or prevented a fatwa from being gazetted.

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