KOTA KINABALU - The chief of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), who enjoys close ties with Umno leaders, has said that Islam doesn't have the swearing of an oath as carried out by former premier Najib Razak recently, to deny his involvement in the murder of a Mongolian woman.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang was quoted on Wednesday (Jan 1) by Free Malaysia Today (FMT) news site as saying there is only the "li'an" oath in Islam, which is sworn by a husband and his wife in cases of suspected adultery where legal proof is unavailable.
Datuk Seri Hadi was answering a question by a member of an audience who wanted to know about Najib's oath, at a talk in the Sabah capital on Tuesday, FMT said.
According to Mr Hadi, an influential ustaz (Islamic cleric) in his party, there are no other legal oaths in Islam, though there are no restrictions against anyone wanting to take whatever oath, FMT reported.
"But if the accused does not have any witnesses, it's best to keep quiet," he was quoted as saying.
Najib on Dec 20 swore an oath in a mosque in Kuala Lumpur to deny an accusation that he gave the order to kill Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
The accusation was made by former police commando Azilah Hadri, who was convicted in 2009 of the murder, in a recent statutory declaration (SD).
Ms Altantuya, 28, was shot and her body blown up with explosives in a gruesome murder in 2006.
Najib carried out the controversial oath inside Masjid Jamek in Kampung Baru after Friday prayers.
Mr Hadi - whose decision to get close to Najib, when the latter was Umno president, paved the way for close Umno-PAS ties today - warned against being too eager to take such oaths, as it may incur Allah's displeasure, FMT said.
The solemn oath, called sumpah laknat in Malay, is rarely uttered by Muslims, as it calls for divine retribution on the party who is lying.
This was the second time that Najib has sworn using the sumpah laknat in dealing with the murder of Altantuya.
Najib swore a similar oath in 2008, at the height of the controversy over Ms Altantuya's murder, in a mosque in Penang.
When Najib made the second oath on Dec 20, retired military general Mohamed Arshad Raji was quoted as saying Najib should stop "making a mockery of the Islamic religious oath".
Mr Arshad, chief of the National Patriot Association said, as quoted by Malaysiakini: "An allegation of murder is a very serious matter. It is not a trivial matter such as a chicken or a goat has gone missing in a kampung where the matter can be settled with a sumpah (oath)".