KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) is an important entity, particularly for the coordination of Islamic affairs in the country, said the Malaysian Ulama Association (PUM).
Its president, Sheikh Abdul Halim Abd Kadir, said the actions of certain parties, which questioned the necessity to have Jakim, were merely aimed at hindering the development of Islam in the country.
Urging people not to be easily influenced by the actions of those who questioned Jakim’s role, he said everyone should first study the history of the management of Islamic affairs in Malaysia and look at its contribution to the country and the Muslim community.
“In whatever situation, do not be in cahoots with those who hamper the development and spread of Islam.
“Jakim’s presence in Malaysia is relevant and must be upheld and empowered to protect the sovereignty of the country,” he said in a statement here today.
Syeikh Halim said Jakim had begun as a unit in the Prime Minister‘s Department for protecting the purity of Islam.
It had succeeded in curbing the spread of deviant teachings as well as empowering the religion, based on the Wasatiyyah concept (moderation concept).
“Jakim’s role is significant in assisting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s role as the head of Islam for the federal territories and working together with sultans of other states, who are heads of Islam in their states, to uphold Islam through fair and just rule.
“Jakim, as a department at the federal level, has a good track record, particularly in strengthening the bond between the state Islamic Religious Councils and the state Islamic Religious Departments for the coordination of Islamic affairs.
“It has also succeeded in harmonising Islamic affairs in Islamic education, halal certification, the development of policies and the preaching of Islamic teachings as well as other fields related to the well-being of Muslims,” he said.
Syeikh Halim added that Jakim had also succeeded in promoting the country at the international level through the hosting of the Al-Quran Recital Assembly and the establishment of its Darul Quran institution.
“In this context, the government should continue to give and increase allocations to enable Jakim to uphold Islam as the religion of the federation.
“Thus, its formation is in line with the Federal Constitution,” he emphasised.