Malaysia govt backs strict form of Shariah

Kuala Lumpur—Prime Minister Najeeb Razzak’s government threw its support in parliament this week behind a strict form of Sharia that includes amputations and stoning, shocking some of his allies and stoking fears of further strains in the multi-ethnic country.
The government yesterday unexpectedly submitted to parliament a hudud bill that had been proposed by the Islamist group Parti Islam se-Malaysia’s (PAS).
Although debate on the law was deferred to October by PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang, its submission to parliament brought criticism from leaders across the political spectrum, including allies of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, who represent the ethnic Chinese and Indian communities. Najeeb sought to ease tensions with his allies on Friday, saying the bill was “misunderstood”.—AFP

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