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Date: 09 Dec 1999
Time: 02:30:52


DAP wants discussion on 'kharaj'

The DAP has told the Barisan Alternatif to discuss PAS' controversial proposal to impose kharaj, or tax on non-Muslims, in Terengganu to ensure the protection of non-Muslim interests. Contacted after the opposition front meeting here yesterday, DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang said a special committee would study the kharaj proposal and any move that might infringe on the rights of non-Muslims.

The DAP has come under tremendous pressure from its own supporters recently after Terengganu Mentri Besar Abdul Hadi Awang's announcement last weekend of the kharaj proposal.

The defeat of Lim and former Jelutong MP Karpal Singh in last week's elections has also been blamed on DAP's links with PAS in the opposition front, which has caused uneasiness among the party's traditional Chinese base.

In a statement on Tuesday, DAP national vice-chairman Lim Guan Eng also hit out strongly at PAS' Islamisation policies.

He called on Barisan Nasional to use its two-thirds majority in Parliament to prevent PAS from implementing Islamic policies which could affect the rights of non-Muslims.

At yesterday's meeting, Lim said the party also called on the Terengganu Government to consult all concerned parties and groups before introducing any laws that might affect the interests of non-Muslims.

However, no decision was made by the front on DAP's proposal, with the leaders choosing instead to discuss the matter at the next meeting of the front.

Besides Lim, yesterday's meeting was attended by Parti Keadilan Nasional president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, PAS president Datuk Fadzil Noor, DAP secretary-general Kerk Kim Hock, and PRM president Dr Syed Husin Ali.

PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat said DAP and PRM would support the proposal to implement kharaj on non-Muslims when they understood the Islamic economic system.

He said PAS' proposal was better than any other system and it would be good for all.

According to the Islamic economic system, kharaj is a tax imposed on the revenue of land taken from non-Muslims.

Another form of tax for non-Muslims is jizyah (poll tax) which is to ensure security provided for them as the kafir zimmi (protected infidels) of an Islamic state.

Jizyah is viewed as a symbolic submission to the sovereignty of Islam.

Last changed: December 09, 1999