Kedah to step up efforts to curb spread of Shi'ite sect teachings

Mukhriz Mahathir.

ALOR SETAR - Kedah will be able to step up its efforts in curbing the spread of the teachings of the Shi'ite sect here with the passing of a Bill by the state assembly on the amendment to the Syariah Criminal Offences.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said 21 of the 36 assemblymen voted for the Bill while nine opposed it. Four had abstained while two did not vote.

"This enactment provides penalties for those spreading the teachings of the Shi'ite sect, thus allowing enforcement on any individual who tries to spread it," he said after the assembly meeting adjourned sine die at 10.45pm on Tuesday.

Describing it as one of the longest state assembly sittings, Mukhriz said the assemblymen in their debates on the opening speech of Council of Regency chairman Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah had raised various issues for discussion.

He also said the state would consider the request made by the Opposition for a detailed investigation report on the Kolej Universiti Insaniah (KUIN) issue. He, however, added that the report should not be manipulated for political mileage.

Among the problems reported on KUIN were a lack of amenities for students and the staff. The campus has no hostel and some staffers had to commute from there to Kuala Ketil daily.

Mukhriz added that to ensure the university would be put under someone of calibre, a seven-man panel has been formed to select the best candidate and they are expected to submit three names for the state to choose on Sunday.

On another note, Mukhriz said the state has yet to conduct an internal investigation on the state government-linked company (GLC) which was being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"We have only been in office for 100 days. Except for the forensic audit on KUIN, we did not conduct any investigation on any government-linked companies," he said.

It was reported that the MACC was investigating a GLC in Kedah regarding a criminal breach of trust case involving RM2mil(S$770,000) in political funding during GE13.