2 Amanah reps to be questioned over ‘support’ for Kedah 4D ban

ALOR SETAR: Two Amanah assemblymen who stood up in support of Kedah’s 4D ban in the state assembly yesterday have been told to explain themselves, state opposition leader Phahrolrazi Zawawi said.

Ismail Salleh and Mohd Asmirul Anuar Aris had got up after PAS backbencher Mohd Azam Abdul Samad asked members of the assembly to stand if they supported the state government’s move.

Phahrolrazi also said Azam’s move was illegal, as only the speaker could “call for a vote”.

“By right, a member must submit a motion, and it is up to the speaker to decide if it is to be debated or voted on.

“If you were to call for a vote on your own arbitrarily, it is an offence in any state assembly or in Parliament,” he said at a press conference here today.

Yesterday, the two Amanah assemblymen rose to their feet together with all the government members after Azam asked who supported the state government’s decision not to renew the business licences of the 4D operators.

Phahrolrazi described the move as an “entrapment” for the opposition. He said Azam had posed a “question of faith” – whether the members agreed that gambling was outlawed by Islam and if one would support it through a government policy.

Asmirul later said he stood up to support the “basic understanding” that gambling was outlawed in Islam.

“We are not denying the rights of non-Muslims in the state by standing up in support (of the 4D ban),” he said.

“If we did not stand, we would have been branded as ‘barua DAP’ (DAP pimps).”

Phahrolrazi also said it was not right for Kedah to impose a ban on 4D outlets just because gambling was prohibited among Muslims.

He said it was wrong to impose Islamic values and beliefs on others, especially in a multicultural state and country.

Phahrolrazi, a senior exco member in the late menteri besar Azizan Abdul Razak’s state government in 2008, said gaming shops were allowed to run then despite Azizan being part of PAS’ ulama faction.

He said state policies that might infringe on the rights of non-Muslims were decided after engagements with the stakeholders.

For Muslims, he said, shariah laws were already in place to penalise those who took part in gambling and other vices outlawed in Islam.

“But to close gaming shops for all is not right. You are imposing your law on non-Muslims,” he said, urging the state government to review the move.

Derga assemblyman Tan Kok Yew, who was also at the press conference, said DAP was considering filing a judicial review on the matter as it ran afoul of the Federal Constitution.