Sultan regrets Nurul's remarks

SELANGOR, Malaysia - The Sultan of Selangor has expressed regret and surprise at a statement by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar that Malay Muslims are free to choose their faith under the religious freedom factor.

Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah totally rejected any view that Malay Muslims were free to choose another religion and denounce Islam.

In a statement here yesterday, Mohamed Adzib said: "As the adviser to the Sultan of Selangor, Mais will assist him to be cautious, sensitive and firm on anyone who challenges the sanctity of Islam, whether in terms of ideology or practice, particularly in Selangor."

Nurul Izzah, who is Lembah Pantai MP, was reported as saying at a forum on Saturday that no one should be compelled to adopt a particular religion and this applied to the Malays as well.

Following a public outcry over her statement, she denied she was supporting murtad (apostasy) or encouraging Muslims to renounce Islam.

She told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday that she was ready to meet the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) to explain her remarks.

Jais director Datuk Marzuki Husin said the MP's statement was akin to saying all religions are the same.

"This is not correct as Islam is not the same as other faiths," he said, stressing that Jais could act against Nurul Izzah if it has information on what she exactly said at the forum.

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