SHAH ALAM: The Friday sermon at mosques in Selangor today reminded Muslims of the status of Islam as enshrined in the constitution, urging them to remain loyal subjects of the sultan, a day before a rally in Kuala Lumpur called by Malay groups and politicians who have accused the current government of undermining the community.
“The religion of Islam has a very privileged status within the legal system of our homeland,” reads an English translation of the sermon prepared by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department.
“Islam is the official religion, and His Majesty is the head of Islamic affairs for the state of Selangor. The royal institution is the continuation of leadership history of the national heritage, and also a symbol of unity for the ummah.”
The text of the sermon was prepared in conjunction with the 73rd birthday of the Sultan of Selangor on Tuesday.
Among others, it urged Muslims to be loyal to the rulers as long as they do not violate the shariah.
“The cordial relationship between the ruler and the citizens that has long existed must be firmly maintained. The ruler is the pillar of the Malay society, who symbolises the unity of the society as well as the head of Islamic affairs, which we must rightly defend,” the sermon added.
Umno and PAS, two of the country’s largest Malay-Muslim parties which have formed a loose alliance, are organising a so-called “thanksgiving” rally tomorrow in a show of strength amid their claim that the Pakatan Harapan government is sidelining the Malays.
The rally, supported by several right-wing Malay and Muslim groups, was initially to protest suggestions that Malaysia ratify the United Nations-endorsed International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, or ICERD.
They said ratifying ICERD would undermine the special position of the Malays, including provisions to allow quotas in public institutions as spelt out in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
Putrajaya last month reluctantly announced that it was not ratifying the treaty, with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying the government was committed to defending the constitution.
Supporters of ICERD have however said that ratifying the treaty would be a step forward to show the government’s commitment to doing away with racism and discriminatory practices.
The sermon today also referred to the Charter of Medina, a historic treaty signed by Prophet Muhammad in the early days of Islam that served as a basis for governing the multi-tribal state of Medina.
“All parties must remain open-minded, tolerant, positive thinking, and having mutual respect for one another,” according to the sermon’s text.