SUNGAI BESAR, June 6 — Muslims are advised not to participate in the Bon Odori Festival to be held at the Shah Alam Sports Complex on July 16 as the festival contains elements of other religions, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad.

“A study conducted by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) found that the festival does have religious elements, so we advise Muslims not to participate in it,” he told the media after attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the Selangor Islamic Education Foundation’s (Yapis) Education Complex Project here today.

He said this when asked to comment on the organisation of the annual Japanese festival, which has also received negative reactions on social media, especially among Muslims in the country.

The event’s promotional poster also depicted an anime of a kimono-clad woman wearing a hijab.

“That’s why we hope such confusion does not arise. Jakim as the coordinating party (of Islam in the country) advises Muslims not to participate in programmes like this or any programme that could affect our religion and beliefs,” he said.

Meanwhile, on a separate matter, Idris said that a man referred to on social media as “The Hood Man” had been located and all the information given by the individual would be used as material for his (Idris) team to take the next course of action.

Jakim was previously trying to locate the man to assist with allegations he made on social media that the Thomas Foods International (TFI) Lobethal slaughterhouses in Australia did not comply with Malaysian halal standards and procedures.

“So far, the company involved has been suspended, and we hope he (individual) is fine (after the disclosure). We are grateful for the disclosure.

“I am confident that in Australia there is no problem with such disclosures because it (the country) gives great importance to consumerism,” he said, adding that Jakim had suspended TFI’s slaughtering approval with immediate effect until the results of a comprehensive probe are obtained. — Bernama