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BAGAN DATOH, Dec 13, 2014:

Chief Ministers or Menteris Besar have no power to issue statements or make decisions on the use of the word Allah, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He said in the case of Penang, the matter was under the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, who represented the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as the head of Islam and Malay Customs.

Normally, he said, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri would delegate the power to the Islamic Religious Council president or the Islamic Department head.

“Although the edict has to be implemented at the state level and Islam comes under the jurisdiction of the state government, the executive power is not with the Menteri Besar or the Chief Minister,” he told reporters after opening a Water Sports Carnival at the Bagan Datoh tourism complex, here today.

He was commenting on a statement by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, which was posted in several news portals yesterday, that non-Muslims could use the word “Allah” in Penang.

This, he said, was because the Administration of Religion of Islam (Penang) Enactment 2004, banning the use of the word could not be enforced on them as it applied to Muslims only.

Asked whether a police report had been lodged, Ahmad Zahid said the police would investigate.

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