PUTRAJAYA, Nov 10, 2015:

The position of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) is very relevant and it stands firm in conducting its three core functions, said its director-general, Datuk Othman Mustapha.

He said it was carrying out the task of coordination in the field of law, on education and Islamic administration.

The significance of the existence of the department, he said, was as a secretariat to the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs, which was set up by the Council of Rulers on July 1, 1969.

He noted that Jakim is a central agency set up by the Federal Government to coordinate issues related to the affairs of Islam.

In addition, he said, Jakim also had a role to help the Prime Minister in Islamic affairs in accordance with Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution which stipulated that Islam is the official religion of the federation.

“All government policies must take into account the position of Islam as the official religion of the federation, ” he said in a statement here today.

Clarifying further, Othman said Article 12(2) of the Federal Constitution clearly allowed the federal and state governments to set up and provide funds to maintain Islamic institutions such as mosques and schools.

He said Jakim always upheld Islam, which is under the authority of the sultans in states, with Malay rulers who received advice from their respective Islamic religious councils pertaining to the administration and well-being of Muslims.

Thus the authority of the Malay rulers as heads of Islam and matters involving Islamic affairs were clearly spelt out in the Federal Constitution, he said.

“As such, Jakim hopes all quarters will respect the spirit of the Federal Constitution so that peace and harmony will be everlasting,” he said.

The statement is believed to be in response to an article in a portal urging for Jakim to be abolished.

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