KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Perak ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah today issued a stern warning against attempts to hold political programmes at any mosques and surau in the state by both sides of the political divide.
The statement came amid uproar over an alleged political event that took place at the Al-Khairiah mosque in Kampung Banjar Hilir, Teluk Intan on May 21, another in Chemor on May 22, and the Al-Ittihad surau in Kampung Temiang, Ipoh on May 24.
A statement by the Palace today said all of the establishment’s chairmen have been suspended pending investigation by the Perak Islamic Affairs Department.
“On May 25, 2019 His Royal Highness had instructed the state police chief, the director of the Perak Islamic Affairs and chief secretary of the Perak Islamic and Malay Customs Council to conduct an investigation into the complaints.
“After His Highness was briefed, he deemed it satisfactory that the complaints were indeed true... he concluded that this was an unhealthy development and has the potential to defile the holiness of the mosque and surau,” the statement reads.
State liaison chiefs from all the main political parties were summoned to the Iskandariah Palace, Kuala Kangsar on May 25, the statement further added.
They were Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Datuk Azumu, state DAP advisor, Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, Amanah state chairman Asmuni Awi, state Umno liaison chief Datuk Saarani Mohamad, PAS state secretart Razman Zakaria and PKR state chairman Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak.
“In that session, His Highness had strongly stated his view as the state’s supreme religious leader, that no political programme can be held in or within the vicinity of mosques or surau.
“His Highness also warned against inviting political leaders to speak about religion at any of the religious events held by a mosque or surau without first receiving authorisation from the Perak Islamic and Malay Customs Council,” the statement also said.
Mosques, surau or any houses of worship are meant to be neutral spaces. While each state has its own religious laws, all prohibit the use of mosques and surau for political programmes.
Despite public complaints and repeated warnings from religious authorities, political parties have stubbornly ignored them and continue to organise political programmes in houses of worship throughout the country.