KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Several PAS leaders have questioned the need for a review of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), as announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.
The clerics said that instead of reviewing Jakim, Putrajaya should bring the hammer down on vices such as gambling, prostitution, sales of alcohol, and nightclubs.
“It is an uncomfortable development seeing pressure towards the government to review and abolish Islamic institutions such as Jakim,” PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan said on his Facebook page last night.
Nasrudin, a member of PAS’ consultative Syura Council, said the weaknesses of Jakim should instead be mended and reinforced, claiming it is an institution to manage Islamic affairs in the country.
“We don’t hear at all the government’s steps to review the position of Sports Toto, Magnum, gambling premises, prostitution, massage parlors, nightclubs, and so on, that are obviously nourishing the sin industry in the country,” the former Temerloh MP said.
Sports Toto and Magnum 4D are two four-digit lottery companies.
Similarly, Selangor PAS Ulama wing deputy chief Ahmad Dusuki Abd Rani has also opposed the review and called for Jakim to be strengthened.
“The role of Toto, Magnum, and all kinds of gambling and alcohol must be reviewed and restructured for the sake of Malaysian society’s harmonious living.
“The ummah in the end of times are really weird!” the popular preacher posted on his Facebook page, using the word referring to the Muslim community.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir announced a new committee will be formed to evaluate the role of Jakim, which will include religious scholars and non-religious experts.