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Zamihan protected by a ‘godfather’, says Amanah’s Khalid

 | October 17, 2017

Shah Alam MP claims an influential leader is trying to seek an audience with the Sultan of Johor to appeal on behalf of Zamihan Mat Zin.


SHAH ALAM: Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad has claimed that Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officer Zamihan Mat Zin, who delivered a controversial religious lecture supporting a laundrette’s Muslim-only policy, is being protected by an influential leader.

The Amanah legislator claimed this leader was trying to gain an audience with the Sultan of Johor who rebuked Zamihan for his remarks, including his allegedly critical comments against the royalty for opposing the policy.

“Ustaz Zamihan has his own ‘godfather’. This is not new. He shamelessly calls people ‘kafir’ (infidels), yet no action has been taken against him,” Khalid said.

“Till today, he has been able to hit out at the Sultan,” he claimed at a press conference at his office here today.

Khalid however did not name Zamihan’s supposed “godfather”, saying that journalists could investigate it for themselves.

A video of Zamihan’s speech at the Masjid Diraja Tengku Ampuan Jemaah in Shah Alam that went viral, showed him allegedly criticising Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor over the ruler’s ultimatum to the laundrette in Muar to end its Muslim-only policy.

Defending the policy, Zamihan also made derogatory remarks about the hygiene of Chinese Malaysians.

Zamihan, who is the Persatuan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah (Aswaja) president, was subsequently arrested for sedition on Oct 11 and released on Oct 14.

Following the controversy, it was reported that Jakim referred Zamihan to its disciplinary board. Its director-general Othman Mustapha said the department took a serious view on Zamihan’s statements in the video that was uploaded on YouTube, and agreed there were hints of criticism aimed at Sultan Ibrahim.

On Oct 14, Sultan Ibrahim castigated Zamihan, calling him “an empty tin can without any brains”.

The sultan said Zamihan’s style of speaking was vain and conceited “as though only he was right and could deride other cultures.”

Then, in a statement yesterday, the Selangor palace announced that Zamihan’s religious teaching credentials had been revoked, and that he was also removed from the state’s council to vet religious preachers.

Describing Zamihan’s speech as “racist” and saying that it “lacked manners”, the statement said he had also gone overboard in criticising the royal institution in a mosque with royal status.

Khalid today said that a controversial speech by another individual, Shahul Hamid, head of the Maahad Tahfiz Darul Tahzhib, that was recorded on video and uploaded on the Internet, had demonstrated an extremist mindset.

Shahul had allegedly said Muslims should not have their hair cut or washed in non-Muslim shops and not send their children to schools managed by non-Muslims. He said Muslims should even refrain from using the greeting “Happy Birthday”.

“This is an extremist style of thinking. The extremism is not necessarily that of a terrorist. What is extreme is that he wants to do more than what Islam demands,” Khalid said.

He said such lectures depicted Islam as being the cause of division and hatred.

“But Islam does not teach anything like that. There is no justification for such prejudicial, racist and fascist thinking,” he said.

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