DAP leader tells Muslims and non-Muslims in Sarawak to ignore directive and pray together if they want

Chong said interfaith gathering has never been an issue in Sarawak and that followers of different religions reciting their prayers together in any function, adding that it is a hallmark of the state’s religious harmony. Source (pic): The Star Online

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the coalition supports the state government’s decision to ignore any purported directive barring Muslims and non-Muslims from praying or reciting prayers together in a function.

He said Sarawak must maintain its current practices of allowing Muslims and non-Muslims to pray or recite prayers together at any function.

Commenting on the same issue, Sarawak Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo said the call to prohibit interfaith prayers is not applicable to Sarawak. 

She said Islam is under State List II — State List (1) of the Ninth Schedule (Part III) of the Federal Constitution where Islamic affairs come under the jurisdiction of the state.


KUCHING: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) said it supports the state government’s decision to ignore any purported directive barring Muslims and non-Muslims from praying or reciting prayers together in a function.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said such a directive will only bring about more racial and religious segregation and is not conducive to racial harmony in Sarawak.

He said Sarawak must maintain its current practices of allowing Muslims and non-Muslims to pray or recite prayers together at any function.


“The directive must not be followed in Sarawak,” Chong, who is also the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said when welcoming Assistant Minister (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi’s statement that the state government would not follow the directive.

Chong said interfaith gathering has never been an issue in Sarawak and that followers of different religions reciting their prayers together in any function, adding that it is a hallmark of the state’s religious harmony.

Commenting on the same issue, Sarawak Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo said the call to prohibit interfaith prayers is not applicable to Sarawak.

She said Islam is under State List II — State List (1) of the Ninth Schedule (Part III) of the Federal Constitution where Islamic affairs come under the jurisdiction of the state.

“As a state matter, Sarawak has its own religious institutions and organisations to govern the constitution, organisation and procedures for Islamic law and doctrine for Muslims in Sarawak,” she said, adding Sarawak has its own legitimate rights which federal government must respect.

“Sarawak’s multi-religious and multi-cultural communities have always practised their religious faiths peacefully and harmoniously without issue.

“We respect and uphold unity in diversity, and we do not welcome futile attempts to export race and religion politics to divide the people of Sarawak,” she said.

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said yesterday that Muslims are not obligated to join mass prayer sessions, whether together silently or in succession, with other religions in any organised events.

The federal Islamic body referred to a decision made during a national fatwa committee meeting in 2006, and a similar Federal Territories-level meeting.

However, Jakim said non-Muslims are not restricted from organising or joining such mass prayers.

Jakim said it made the decision following an inquiry by the Department of National Unity and Integration under the Prime Minister’s Department on August 6 of instances involving Muslims participating in such prayers.

Source:


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