KUALA LUMPUR - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) to task over its handling of an incident at a Hindu temple on June 1 where a wedding was to be held that involved a woman registered as a Muslim.
Dr Mahathir said the Jais officials should refer back to the Quran to seek guidance on how to deal with such a situation.
"They can investigate but do not have to stop people from getting married," the former prime minister told reporters after presenting a talk on Muslim Contemporary Lifestyle at the International Islamic University Malaysia president's premier lecture in Gombak here yesterday.
It was reported the 32-year-old woman and her siblings were registered as Muslims when they were children after their father converted to Islam, allegedly without the family's knowledge.
Bride-to-be Zarena Abdul Majid, who claimed to be a practising Hindu, said she had tried twice to change her name and religion but failed.
Jais later claimed it did not raid the temple but was investigating the bride following complaints.
In his lecture earlier, Dr Mahathir said Muslims must abide by the Quran and respond accordingly to their surroundings and current environment which, he said, was different now than the time of Prophet Muhammad.
Urging Muslims to always refer back to the Quran, he cautioned about fanatically following certain leaders or scholars, warning that it could cause division and strife among the brotherhood.
Responding to questions from the floor, Dr Mahathir reiterated his stand against hudud, stating that justice should prevail above all.
"Punishment must be meted out but it must be done in justice.
"If you apply hudud laws only to Muslims, that will result in injustice.
"For example, when a person steals, the Muslim will get his hand chopped off while the non-Muslim gets two months' jail," Dr Mahathir said, adding that it would be difficult to apply two different sets of laws in the country.