Thursday, July 17, 2014

'Mais not alter ego of Selangor sultan'

1:14PM Jul 17, 2014
The Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) is not the alter ego of the sultan of Selangor, constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari said today.

Mais is there to assist the sultan in carrying out his functions as the head of Islam, the academician said.

Criticising Mais does not necessarily mean criticising the sultan, Aziz (right) said in an email response to questions fromMalaysiakini.

"Mais is not the alter ego of the sultan. Criticising Mais does not necessarily mean criticising the sultan," he said,

"This is especially so when the action taken by Mais breaches the federal constitution and interferes with the rights of non-Muslims."

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on Tuesday singled out Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad for suggesting that the powers of Mais be curbed.

However, Aziz believes that Khalid has every right to show concern, that he did not attack the sultan but was merely critical of Mais.

‘Take Mais to court for judicial review’

He further explained that taking away the powers of Mais through an amendment may not the proper thing to do now.

“The more advisable way is to take Mais to court for judicial review to see if its actions are still within the scope of its statutory powers.

“This is to be done in the civil court, not the syariah court."

The former Universiti Islam Antarabangsa  (UIA) lecturer also said there was nothing wrong for Sultan Sharafuddin to express his displeasure over Khalid’s statement.

“There is nothing wrong, from the legal point of view, especially when it is about religion that is under his jurisdiction.

“But the problem is when the comments may not be right, and here lies the conventional wisdom that the monarch does not speak in public in the manner that politicians do,” Aziz said.
~ Malaysiakini

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