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Fear among Malaysian Christians amid bid to increase Islamic law

by Antony Bushfield

The country's Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) is trying to strengthen the position of Sharia law in the multi-cultural society.

Around 60 per cent of the nation are Muslim, 20 per cent Buddhists, 10 per cent Christians and 6 per cent Hindus.

Parliament will discuss the proposed amendment to the law that would allow Islamic courts to impose prison terms of 30 years, fines of £18,000 and 100 lashes.

Currently the courts, which rule on religious matters and family law for Muslims, can only impose three years jail time, six lashes and fines of around £800.

Although Christians would not be hauled into an Islamic Court on a religious matter they could find themselves there if they are involved in a family matter with a Muslim.

The country's Democratic Action Party said it will oppose the change in parliament.

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