KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) has confirmed nabbing six Muslims in the state so far for disrespecting the holy month of Ramadan by not fasting.
Jais director Datuk Haris Kasim said the department’s monitoring of non-fasting Muslims during Ramadan is to ensure the sanctity of the month.
“Jais as a body responsible for protecting and preserving the religion of Islam always strives to ensure Muslims can carry out this ibadah (religious practice) as well and as perfectly as they are able to,” he told Malay Mail Online last week in an email interview.
Citing the Jais enforcement management division’s figures, Jais said there has been a slight decline in offenders who disrespect Ramadan, with 37 arrested last year compared to 39 in 2013.
Section 19 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 states that anyone who sells food, drink or cigarettes to Muslim during fasting hours in Ramadan or anyone found eating, drinking or smoking in a public place during the same period are guilty of an offence.
Offenders under Section 19 are punishable with a maximum RM1,000 fine or a maximum six-month jail term or both, with repeat offenders liable to a maximum RM2,000 fine or a maximum one-year jail term or both.
As Ramadan nears its end later this week, Jais reminded Muslims to continue on with their daily activities and to ramp up their productivity during Ramadan instead of citing fasting to explain away lower performances.
For the non-Muslims, Jais said that the racial and religious diversity here enabled the long-standing unity here, adding that they were similarly blessed during Ramadan.
“The blessings of Ramadan is not just on Muslims, but also non-Muslims that also wear it when there is an opportunity to gather and have friendly ties by celebrating Muslims who fast; the non-Muslims are also given an opportunity to draw close to Islam itself by looking at the earnestness of Muslims through the fasting practice and at the same time Muslims continue their daily work as usual,” Haris said.
Last Saturday, Bernama reported the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) as stating that 28 individuals have been nabbed for smoking and eating in public as well as selling food to Muslims, which is more than the 18 arrested last year.
Section 15 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 comes with the same offence and punishment as the one under Section 19 of the law for Selangor offences.
The Bernama report said Muslims who skipped fasting during Ramadan favoured fast-food and 24-hour eateries, with the five hotspots located at Jalan Semarak, Pusat Bandar Damansara, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Wangsa Maju and Bandar Permaisuri, Cheras.