Damian S. L. Yeo & L. C. Goh (DSLY)
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Tel : 06-2347011
& 06-2347012
Fax: 06-2347022


Thursday, August 14, 2008

PAS says OK to Bar Forum

about time....

-----taken from Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council forum on Saturday should have been allowed to proceed, said the PAS Research Centre.

“A small group of us met to discuss the forum and we were unanimous that it should have been allowed to proceed. There are valid reasons for such a forum,” said Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, the centre director, in an interview.

“As was emphasised to us by International Islamic University constitutional law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari and Hanifah Maidin, the head of PAS legal bureau, Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution when passed had not envisaged the circumstances that could arise, for example, the impact on people of other faiths embracing Islam.

“We don’t see the forum as non-Muslims encroaching into theological matters. The underpinning reason was for the legal, technical and procedural lacuna created by Article 121 (1A) to be ironed out in earnestness and intellectual integrity.

“Take the case of Subashini and Saravanan who were married under civil law and he later on embraced Islam.

“If the non-converting spouse does not use the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act to dissolve the marriage, what happens? These are long-standing issues that the authorities should have ironed out long ago; instead, every time a case like this raises its ugly head, it is Muslims and Islam that get bashed.”

Dr Dzulkifli, who is also the Kuala Selangor MP, said those who had united to oppose the forum had no understanding of the issue at hand.

“That's why Dr Mehrun Siraj (who was cut short from talking by the protesters who wanted the forum to end) asked for reform,” he said.

“We thought that after the March election, we had proven that we could manage dissent intellectually and discuss issues without getting emotional.

“We regret Saturday’s incident. There are some issues that should be discussed behind closed doors but this was just to plug the loopholes.”

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