Penang CM’s office denies claims over ban on subuh prayers

The Penang Chief Minister’s Office has lodged a police report over a Facebook post making several allegations regarding prayers and activities in mosques.

GEORGE TOWN: An aide to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today urged police to investigate a Facebook post claiming Chow had ordered a ban on the predawn call to prayer and limited activities at mosques.

Zahar Zainol, the information officer at the Chief Minister’s Office, said the claim was a lie and “fabricated by parties wanting to cause tension in Penang’s harmonious society”.

“The chief minister has nothing to do with Islamic affairs. The executive councillor in charge of Islamic affairs is his deputy, Ahmad Zakiyuiddin Abdul Rahman.

“There has been no ban in pre-dawn prayers, with Penang being possibly the only state to call for prayer before subuh and when it is time for subuh.

“So, there are two subuh calls, and there has been no change,” Zahar told FMT before lodging a report at the Patani Road police station.

He hoped the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission would track down those behind the FB post, which featured a graphic depicting Chow wearing a songkok.

The graphic said Penang had a non-Muslim majority and the subuh prayers were “noisy” to non-Muslims. It also said that mosque activities had been limited by the “DAP government”.

The post also mentioned the York Road Mosque, which activists claimed had reduced its opening hours because of pressure from the state government.

It was later reported that the mosque’s committee had limited the opening hours because of the high prevalence of crime and the preference of adherents to pray at a mosque nearby.