Kedah, Perak religious authorities to step up enforcement during Ramadan

ALOR SETAR, April 11 — The Kedah Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAIK) will increase monitoring at 71 restaurants and eateries in the state known to be frequent haunts for those who skip fasting during Ramadan.

State Religious, Education and Human Resource committee chairman Brig Gen (R) Datuk Najmi Ahmad said 200 JHEAIK enforcement personnel and officers will be mobilised to monitor and take action against individuals and businesses involved.

“Usually, businesses that operate during the fasting month are the same people every year and it might be their habit every Ramadan (to sell food and drink to those who skip fasting),” he said at a media conference here today.

Non-Muslim premises will also be monitored as there are Muslim traders who offer food and drink to those who skip their fast there in an effort to avoid detection by enforcement officers, he added.

Najmi said businesses that operate during non-reasonable hours (before from 3 or 4pm) throughout Ramadan will have action taken against them.

He also reminded Muslims in the state not to be involved in any gambling activities and hoped that they would channel information regarding such activities to the police so that action can be taken.

Meanwhile, in IPOH, the Perak Islamic Religious Department (JAIPk) has identified at least three main locations where the ‘black plastic gang’ in the city will frequent during Ramadan. Named after the black plastic bags used to hide the food carried in them, these individuals have no qualms of buying food and drink from any business willing to provide them during Ramadan. 

JAIPk director Datuk Mohd Yusof Husin said his department had prepared 100 enforcement personnel to raid these locations and detain anyone who was found to be skipping their fast, no matter what their excuse.

“These black plastic gang individuals will make excuses, claiming to be buying food for other people, the elderly and sick.

“We usually advise them because the most popular excuse used is they are hungry and dying for a smoke. But sterner action will be taken if they are caught for skipping their fast,” he said after presenting school uniforms to 100 students from B40 families today.

According to him, any Muslim found guilty of drinking or eating in public throughout Ramadan can be fined RM1,000 or jailed for six months, or both, adding that the issue was not something new but kept on reoccurring every year.

“So I urge all Muslims to uphold their dignity and that of Islam and do not bring disrepute to all devout Muslims,” he said. — Bernama

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