BUKIT MERTAJAM, May 2 – The Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) has been asked to fine tune existing regulations to prevent mosques from being used as political platforms. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom if the abuse of mosques was not put under control, conflicts and disputes might occur when would only bring about negative impact to Muslim solidarity.
“We realise that mosques are under the state government’s jurisdiction, but we are hoping to foster a close cooperation so that mosques will become a place or a zone of peace and neutrality for all quarters. “However, if the khatib (persons who deliver sermon during Friday prayers) used the mosque to spread the ideology of certain political parties, how would the congregation feel?”
He said this to reporters after meeting with the people and presenting donation to religious schools, mosques and suraus in Masjid Timah here today. Yesterday, the khatib at Masjid Batu in Kampung Pertama in Permatang Pauh, near here, while delivering the sermon, called on the congregation to vote for the PKR candidate in the Permatang Pauh by-election on May 7.
Khatib Subri Arshad also urged Muslim voters in the parliamentary constituency to support PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the candidate for her party. The congregation at the mosque is said to be made of mostly hardcore PAS supporters. PAS together with PKR and the DAP are the partners of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance. Subri was also the losing PAS candidate in the 12th General Election for the Kepala Batas parliamentary seat. He was trounced by the then prime minister and UMNO president Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.