As a country known for our multitude of cultures and religions, you’d think we’d do a better job at embracing them.
Recently, a surau at Taman Pengkalan Utama, Ipoh was censured by the Perak Islamic Religious Department (JAIPk), after a Chinese New Year celebration was held there.
According to the Star, JAIPk director, Datuk Mohd Yusop Haji Husin, said that the surau disrespected the sensitivity of the Muslims and Malay community in the area.
The director said this was discovered after pictures and postings circulating online revealed that there was a lion dance, fireworks and a speech made by the Ipoh Timur MP during a CNY celebration held at the religious space on 1st February 2020.
Posted by تون تيجا on Friday, January 31, 2020
“The lion dance and fireworks have caused a negative reaction and anger among the Malay community…and having the Member of Parliament give a speech may be seen as going against the instructions and law as set”, he said in a press statement made today (7th February 2020).
Mohd Yusop assured that the surau committee has been informed of JAIPk’s disapproval following their celebration on 31st January:
“We have questioned the suitability for such a programme to be held, given that there were no Chinese members in the surau. The surau committee chairman said the programme was purposed to build closer rapport with the non-Muslim folk and to show that they also respect the cultures of various races, while intending to change the negative perception towards Islam.”
The chairman of the surau committee has since apologised for his oversight, admitting that he made a mistake in a sent formal letter.
While the JAIPk director reiterated that the organisation has “no objections and would support programmes that promote harmony and understanding between races and among the people”, he emphasised that these programmes need to respect the Malay community.
“Whatever programmes held at mosques or surau need to respect the sensitivity of the Muslims and the Malay community, while not causing conflict with Malay customs. We also wish to remind all mosque and surau committees not to allow their premises to be used for any activities by political parties to gain mileage”.
Chinese New Year is almost coming to an end. Can’t we all just celebrate together in peace and harmony? What do you guys think of this?
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