KUALA LUMPUR, May 3:
A PAS member today slammed the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) action, lamenting that the authority has put Islam in a bad light by “crashing” a Hindu wedding in Petaling Jaya last Sunday.
Khalid Samad, PAS’ Shah Alam MP, toldThe Rakyat Posttoday that Jais should have contacted the Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) and asked for the organisation’s help before it raided the wedding.
He said that Jais could have also discreetly checked with the priest who was hired to conduct the wedding, and call in the bride and her partner thereafter, to discuss the matter.
“Jais must rightfully work hand-in-hand with other religious organisations in matters like this.
“Don’t flex your muscles unnecessarily simply because you have the power, as this smears the religion’s (Islam) image,” Khalid said.
He was commenting on the manner Jais had raided the wedding between a bride who is believed to be Muslim and her partner which was held at a Hindu temple.
On Sunday, it was reported that several officers and policemen had interrupted the wedding following reports that the 32-year-old bride could be a Muslim.
The bride had however, claimed that her father, who had abandoned his family, had registered her as a Muslim but she grew up a Hindu.
Jais officers had then inspected the bride’s Mykad and found her to be defined as a Muslim, after which she was taken away for questioning and released.
“It is definitely wrong… morally wrong,” says Khalid.
“I am pretty sure Jais had received the report way earlier, and they should have started their checks then, instead of crashing her wedding.”
Khalid said that Jais must also start forging good ties with other non-Muslim religious bodies to gauge a better understanding on the faith of others.
“They (Jais) must also learn how to respect the beliefs of others… cannot abuse their powers like this.
“What I want to emphasise, is that Jais, in the eyes of many, represent Islam and if they act like this, which is extreme, it gives a bad image of Islam to non-Muslims.
“They must realise their responsibility and not abuse their powers.”
Khalid also questioned Jais as to what their next course of action will be, if it was found to be true that the bride was never a Muslim.
“What are they going to do then, when they have already caused due damage?”
Meanwhile, the MCA said that Jais’ raid proved that Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had no power and was unable to protect the rights of non-Muslims.
The party’s Religious Harmony Bureau deputy chairman Ng Chok Sin reasoned that this was because the religious body ignored Abdul Khalid’s directive to notify the state government prior to taking action.
Earlier this year, Abdul Khalid said that consultation was necessary following JAIS’ raid and seizure of the Malay Bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).
“Or maybe Abdul Khalid is not sincere in assisting non-Muslims from resolving other religious issues,” Ng said in a statement this evening.
Jais, Ng added, has since become even more overzealous in its enforcement as this was the third time it has acted against non-Muslims.
Apart from the raid on the Hindu wedding and the BSM, Jais had also raided a thanksgiving dinner held at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church.
“There is no guarantee that other non-Muslim holy houses will be spared or safe in future,” Ng lamented.
The party’s Selangor Liaison Committee deputy chairman Datuk Donald Lim called for the non-Muslim state excos in DAP and PKR to resign “en masse” following their failure to protect the rights of the non-Muslims in the state.
“Pakatan Rakyat has not done anything to stop the department and this can be construed as an endorsement of the department’s action,” he said in a separate statement, adding that the opposition coalition only knew how to blame the Federal government although the department came under the state’s jurisdiction.