PETALING JAYA, May 3 — Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza dismissed allegations that the tahnik ceremony held to mark the birth of her second child violated Covid-19 safety guidelines.
The 42-year-old singer explained in a media statement today that one of the guests, a well-known religious preacher, agreed to attend the ceremony because he happened to be in town for work and did not violate the ongoing interstate travel ban.
“Regarding this matter that has gone viral, as the host, my husband Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa and I wish to clarify that the tahnik ceremony held on April 26 that was claimed to breach standard operating procedures including cross-border travel.
“No interstate activities took place.
“Instead, the individual agreed to attend because he happened to be in Kuala Lumpur on the day of the ceremony,” Siti said.
She said the ceremony and the number of guests in attendance complied with the conditions for gatherings and events under the conditional movement control order (CMCO).
Siti added the ceremony was divided into three sessions with a limited number of guests, attended by the couple’s immediate family and the Mawlid group during the tahnik ceremony, an Islamic practice where honey or dried dates are placed on an infant’s mouth.
“Regarding the afternoon tahnik event attended by a minister in the Religious Affairs department Datuk Seri Zulfikifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, it was not a special ceremony as presumed.
“Instead, he only dropped by to complete the prayer recital and tahnik before rushing home for other engagements,” Siti said in the statement.
Siti assured her fellow Malaysians that she would never turn her back on the law no matter what.
“Apart from being sensitive to the current situation, we have never taken this lightly.
“We try our best to comply with it as much as possible,” she said.
Siti said the statement was issued to clarify matters and end speculations that could lead to defamation.
“This explanation is not for self-defense but aims to clear the air in response to several things that may create confusion and misunderstandings towards certain parties.
“We also take this opportunity to apologise if we made anyone feel uneasy.
“We understand and open-heartedly accept any comments – we are also ready to cooperate with the authorities if needed,” the statement read.
Siti said this will be the final statement from her addressing the issue, saying she wants to focus on her confinement period after giving birth to Muhammad Afwa.
Controversy ensued after snapshots of a minister and a popular Muslim preacher made the rounds on social media when they were spotted at the tahnik ceremony held in Siti’s home.
The public questioned how one of the preachers, Ustaz Azhar Idrus, who is believed to be based in Terengganu could cross borders under the CMCO where interstate travel is prohibited.
Some expressed disappointment over the event at a time when Malaysians are banned from travelling to other states except for emergencies.
Azhar has yet to comment on the matter.