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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sarawak to vet Islamic preachers

It is to stop preachers, including from Peninsular Malaysia, from disrupting the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in Sarawak.

PETALING JAYA - Sarawak is set to implement a new procedure, requiring surau and mosque managements to apply for permission to hold religious talks at their premises, at least two weeks in advance.

According to a Borneo Post Online report, Deputy Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg revealed this, explaining the aim of the procedure was to prevent preachers whose sermons deviated from Islamic laws, teachings and principles, from holding talks.

“We may have speakers coming from either Peninsular Malaysia or even from neighbouring countries, so we ought to check their backgrounds because they may have hidden intentions.

“This is crucial for us to maintain the peace among the Muslims and non-Muslims in Sarawak. That is why we need this new procedure,” he said after handing out contributions to suraus and mosques in his Satok constituency.

At present, management bodies of suraus and mosques only need to submit their applications to the Sarawak Islamic Council (MIS) 24 hours before the start of a programme for approval to be given within that time frame.

Abang Johari, who is also the state minister for Islamic Affairs, said the new procedure would be implemented after the MIS had given its approval, and only after conducting dialogue sessions with the managements of suraus and mosques.

He added that once the procedure was implemented, action could be taken against those who did not comply.

Abang Johari also spoke of the murder of PKR Miri branch secretary Bill Kayong, who was shot yesterday morning while waiting in his pickup truck at a traffic light intersection in Lutong, Miri.

“We are sad to hear what has occurred in Miri and we do not know what the intention or motive behind this incident is,” he said, adding people should not speculate on the matter but let the police carry out their investigations. - FMT

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