PETALING JAYA: Muhyiddin Yassin says that he had never issued any fatwa or religious edict declaring that it was “haram” or forbidden to vote for a Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate in the Sept 9 by-elections.
The Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman said he had used the term “hukum haram” in a speech while on the campaign trail, dismissing it as simply a figure of speech. He added that he had not intended for it to be interpreted literally.
In a statement, Muhyiddin said it was obvious that he had not meant to declare an actual fatwa because immediately after he remarked that there would be those who would challenge him on the matter.
“But some people have taken it out of context and manipulated it to give the impression that I had issued a fatwa, just to confuse the public.”
Muhyiddin had reportedly issued the fatwa at a PN ceramah in Kempas on Saturday, proclaiming that it was “haram” to vote for PH’s Suhaizan Kaiat.
The Bersatu president’s remarks have since drawn criticism, with both PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders questioning his right to issue a religious edict.
Subsequently, Kelantan mufti Shukri Mohamad chastised politicians for arbitrarily declaring something to be “haram” or forbidden for Muslims.
In his statement, Muhyiddin also said he would not casually issue any fatwas as only the Fatwa Council has the authority to do so after consulting scholars and experts.
“I believe that the audience who followed my entire speech understood my intentions.
“Judging by the audience’s response that evening, I am confident they did not take my remarks to be an actual fatwa,” he said.
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