Melaka CM defends deputy speaker after claims of disrespecting Quran

Idris Haron at the Melaka state assembly when he was warned not to exceed his allocated time.

PETALING JAYA: Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari has defended the state assembly deputy speaker’s action yesterday to prevent Barisan Nasional assemblyman Idris Haron from continuing his speech, following claims that he was not allowed to quote a verse from the Quran.

Adly said deputy speaker Wong Pin Fort did the right thing when he barred Idris from speaking beyond the allocated time.

But Wong, the Bemban assemblyman, was accused on social media of not respecting the Quran when he repeatedly tried to stop Idris, the former chief minister, from continuing his speech.

Idris had wanted to conclude his speech with a verse from the Quran. At that point, Wong said he would not allow it.

After assemblymen from both sides protested, Idris was allowed to finish his speech by reciting the verse.

Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari.

Today, Adly rejected claims that Wong had shown disrespect to the Quran, saying Idris should have adhered to the time limit.

“The respect for time is also demanded in the Quran,” Adly said.

He said Idris was given 13 minutes, three minutes longer than the time allocated to others.

He said Wong had acted within his powers.

“If he says stop, then stop. When the speaker says stop, and we read a Quranic verse, is that part of our rules?” he asked.

Adly said there are etiquettes in reciting the Muslim holy book, saying one should not quote the Quran to interrupt another person.

“There is a time for (reading) the Quran, in the morning after prayers, read it. If you do it discreetly, it’s better. That’s between us and God.”

Adly however said Idris was already at the end of his speech.

“But he was always interrupting, so the deputy speaker, thinking he (Idris) would continue speaking, asked him to stop.

“I think that’s a misunderstanding but don’t politicise it and make it as if our deputy speaker does not allow the recitation of the Quran.”