Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Stripping MAIS Of Its Authority Akin To Belittling The Sultan

The calls by PAS that the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) be stripped off its authority over the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), denigrates the role of the Sultan as the head of Islam in the state.

The calls to curtail MAIS' authority came after the council did not agree with the Selangor state executive council's order for JAIS to return the 300 over bibles it confiscated from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) in January.

On June 17, four PAS Parliamentarians - Khalid Abdul Samad (Shah Alam), Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (Kota Raja), Hanipa Maidin (Sepang) and Che Rosli Che Mat (Hulu Langat) urged the Selangor State Government to abolish executive powers from MAIS, so that it no longer has authority over JAIS.

The move is to free the Selangor state government from the MAIS' authority in administering Islam in the state.

However, the calls have incensed the Muslims who fear MAIS may end up a victim of a vicious political game, and that the move reflected the continuous onslaught on Islam of late.


A senior lecturer with the Al-Quran and Al-Sunnah Studies Department at the Islamic Studies Faculties in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Dr Fadlan Mohd Othman in commenting on the matter said any proposal to strip MAIS of its authority is not a wise move.

"Those who want to see MAIS' wings clipped are those who fail to see the real picture as the move will weaken the Islamic administration in the state," he said to Bernama.

He pointed out further that it was highly inappropriate and improper to undermine the state religious councils as the councils operate under the powers vested on the Sultan as the head of Islam.

Fadlan noted that there were two school of thoughts over this call, it is part of the freedom of expression as espoused in a democratic nation or an affront to the Sultan.

"Even if it is about freedom of expression, the elected representatives have to behave ethically and with great respect. I do not know why the elected representatives from PAS made such unwise proposal," he said.


Fadlan, who is also the Chairman of the Malaysian Young Ulema Congregation (Ilmu), believed that the call made by PAS to strip off MAIS' of its authority is akin to belittling the Sultan.

In fact, the Selangor Chapter of the Council of Former Elected Representatives Malaysia (Mubarak) voiced its opposition over the calls to curtail MAIS' authority.

Mubarak Selangor was reported saying that MAIS and JAIS, established to administer and advocate Islam in Selangor, had carried out their roles and responsibilities effectively.

"As Islam in the state comes under the purview of the Sultan of Selangor, the call not only belittles the powers of his highness but also of all Malay rulers.

"Mubarak Selangor emphasizes that all elected representatives in Selangor should show their loyalty to the state and the sultan," said Mubarak Selangor.

Prior to this, the Attorney-General's Chambers announced there would not be any prosecution related to the seizure of the Bibles, simultaneously closed the case.

Subsequently, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim ordered JAIS to return the Bibles to BSM.

Nevertheless, on June 14 MAIS disagreed with the Selangor Government's directive, clarifying it was outside the jurisdiction of the state government.

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