Saturday, January 21, 2006

Did or did not PM Abdullah say that ?

The Star, Saturday January 21, 2006

Q: You said earlier that the laws in the country have to be made clear with regards to conversion.

A: I did not say that. I said other laws that seem to create problems and could be misinterpreted should be looked at to see whether amendments should be made. I did not touch on any specific law.

Bernama, January 10, 2006 18:52 PM

PM Says Laws Need To Be Clear On Religious Conversion

KEPALA BATAS, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday that the issue of religious conversion needed to be spelt out clearly in the Constitution and other laws to prevent confusion among Malaysians.

He said there were indications that such confusion was happening and the Constitution and other laws were not clear on the matter.

"Many feel it is necessary to clarify the question in the laws and Constitution to avoid further confusion," he told reporters after attending a Hari Raya Aidiladha gathering at Masjid Kubang Menerong here.

However, he said, whatever action that would be taken regarding the matter should be done with care so as not to violate the beliefs of any community and the followers of other religions.

The Prime Minister was asked for his comment on the case of Mount Everest climber M. Moorthy alias Mohamad Abdullah, whose death resulted in a controversial tussle between his widow and the Federal Territory Religious Department for the right to bury his body.

Moorthy, who died on Dec 20, was eventually buried by the department on Dec 28 after the Syariah High Court ruled he was a Muslim and the civil High Court decided it had no jurisdiction to intervene in the case.

Abdullah said the right of Malaysians to follow the religion of their choice must be respected and urged them to practise mutual respect and cooperation to maintain harmony in the country.

"We must handle whatever problems that arise with care. We don't allow emotions to be whipped up over religion and race," he said.He said he was looking into the issue and hoped such a problem would not recur.-- BERNAMA