Confusion over Jais control

Last week, Jais raided the Bible Society of Malaysia and seized more than 300 copies of the Bible in Malay and Iban.  — Picture by Choo Choy May
Last week, Jais raided the Bible Society of Malaysia and seized more than 300 copies of the Bible in Malay and Iban. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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PETALING JAYA, Jan 10 — The Selangor Islamic Religious Coun­cil (Mais) has said the state government does not have authority to review the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) standard operating procedures (SOP) on raids. 

Its chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said Jais is not bound to adhere to the new SOP introduced by the state government.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had said on Wednesday Jais would have to get approval from the state executive council before conducting raids on sensitive issues.

“If Jais’s present SOP is in line with the present enactment — the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 — there are no issues of whether Jais’s SOP needs to be revised.

“Furthermore, Jais is under Mais, which is also headed by the Sultan of Selangor as the state Islamic chief.

Mohamad Adzib insisted Jais would continue its enforcement activities as usual and the state government had no authority to interfere. 

“The state government has no say over Jais’s enforcement activities.”

Meanwhile, state executive councillor for Islamic affairs Sallehen Mukhyi said the state government also had power to dictate the guideline to which JAIS must adhere.

“Mais is the policy making body for Jais, while at the same time Jais is an agency under the state government,” he said.

“The state government has no intention of totally changing Jais’s SOP.

“We only want to improve on their existing guidelines.”

He said any actions taken by Jais would usually affect the reputation of the state administration and thus it was important for the new guidelines to be introduced. 

“We plan to hold a meeting with both Jais and Mais in the coming days to clear any doubts regarding the new guideline,” he added.

Last week, Jais raided the Bible Society of Malaysia and seized more than 300 copies of the Bible in Malay and Iban. 

The move courted controversy and was criticised by several quarters. 

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