Young Muslim Praying

Fear among Malaysian Christians amid bid to increase Islamic law

Sun 19 Feb 2017
By Antony Bushfield

Christians in Malaysia are becoming increasingly concerned about attempts to give Islamic courts more power and the ability to impose prison time of up to 30 years.

The country's Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) is trying to strengthen the position of Sharia law in the multi-cultural society.

Around 60 per cent of the nation are Muslim, 20 per cent Buddhists, 10 per cent Christians and 6 per cent Hindus.

Parliament will discuss the proposed amendment to the law that would allow Islamic courts to impose prison terms of 30 years, fines of £18,000 and 100 lashes.

Currently the courts, which rule on religious matters and family law for Muslims, can only impose three years jail time, six lashes and fines of around £800.

Although Christians would not be hauled into an Islamic Court on a religious matter they could find themselves there if they are involved in a family matter with a Muslim.

The country's Democratic Action Party said it will oppose the change in parliament.

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