Perak mosque and surau heads suspended for allowing political events

Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah.

IPOH: The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, has consented to the suspension of mosque and surau committee heads who allowed political party events to be carried out under their watch.

Their duties will be handed over to the district Islamic administration officer, in line with existing regulations, while investigations are carried out, the palace said today.

The Comptroller of the Royal Household, Abd Rahim Mohamad Nor, said the suspension was proposed by Perak Islamic Religious Department director Mohd Yusof Husin.

Abd Rahim said that Sultan Nasrin had directed Yusof to conduct a complete investigation and a report to be submitted to him on the events organised under the name of political parties and religious talks by speakers without credentials.

‘’The ceramahs took place at the Al-Khairiah Mosque, Kampung Banjar Hilir, Teluk Intan, on May 21 and at the Al-Ittihad Surau in Kampung Temiang here on May 24.

“Another event, under the name of a political party, took place at Surau Diri Jumaat Al-Taufiqiah Taman Klebang Jaya, Chemor, on May 22,” he said in a statement issued in Kuala Kangsar near here today.

Abd Rahim said Sultan Nazrin’s decision was made in the presence of the Perak police chief Razaruddin Hussain @ Abd Rasid; Perak Islamic Religious Council and Malay Customs acting secretary Mohd Haidi Sulaiman at Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar, yesterday evening.

Also present were the leaders of six main political parties in Perak, namely, state Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chief Ahmad Faizal Azumu; state Democratic Action Party adviser Ngeh Koo Ham; state Parti Amanah Negara chairman Asmuni Awi; state Umno chairman, Saarani Mohamad; state PAS Commissioner, Razman Zakaria and state Parti Keadilan Rakyat chairman Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak.

Abd Rahim said Sultan Nazrin had received many complaints about events organised under the names of political parties taking place in the buildings and compounds of mosques or surau in Perak.

‘’He was informed that many leaders of political parties gave ceramah without at mosques and surau without the permission of the state religious authorities.

‘’After being briefed, he was satisfied as to the truth in the complaints received from many mosque goers concerning political parties in Perak organising activities in buildings and compounds of mosques and surau, and also political party leaders giving religious ceramah without credentials,’’ he said.

Abd Rahim said that during the audience, Sultan Nazrin stressed his stand against allowing any event to be organised in the name of political parties in the buildings and compounds of mosques and surau.

Sultan Nazrin had cautioned political parties that the escalation of their activities at mosques and surau was an unhealthy development with the potential to adversely affect the sanctity of the houses of worships.

‘’Sultan Nazrin said the parties had used numerous excuses such as community service, welfare programme, knowledge event, completing the Quran, aid, but at the same time displaying their respective party logos in the buildings and compounds of mosques and surau,’’ he said.

He said the Sultan of Perak also cautioned the political parties against inviting speakers without proper accreditation. Permission of the state religious authority must be sought if ceramah were to be held in mosques or surau.

Sultan Nazrin had also expressed the fear that mosques would be identified and associated with certain political parties, whereas it was their task to unite the people.