GEORGE TOWN, April 3 — A fatwa prohibiting Muslims from participating in beauty pageants will be gazetted soon, Penang Mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said today.
He also said that three other religious edicts are still being deliberated on.
Responding to allegations by Penang PAS that the state government had allegedly failed to gazette four approved fatwas, he said only one fatwa on beauty pageants was approved by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
“The other three fatwas are still in process, it doesn’t mean we are shelving it permanently, it was only slightly delayed,” he told the Malay Mail Online when contacted.
He said the process of gazetting a religious edict takes time as it needed to go through the state legal advisor first before it can be submitted to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for approval.
“We have to wait for the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to approve it before we can move to gazette it,” he said.
He said the whole process can take several months, depending on when the Agong approves it.
Wan Salim was responding to Penang PAS Youth wing chief Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden who claimed the state had failed to gazette the four approved fatwas.
Afnan said the Islamist party is considering suing the state government for not gazetting the fatwas.
The three other fatwas were on the management of state land, the management of wakaf land and prohibiting Muslims from smoking shisha.
Wan Salim said it is up to Penang PAS to take legal action as it is their right.
“As long as the fatwas were concerned, we are not cancelling it, so there was no issue,” he said.
This is not the first time the Pakatan Harapan state government came under fire over its fatwas.
In February, its state fatwa committee member Datuk Md Salleh Ahmad agreed with Afnan that there was political meddling in the fatwa process.
Md Salleh had also claimed that fatwas were put on hold due to instructions from the state religious affairs committee chairman and state exco Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim.