Selangor Sultan warns politicians against issuing ‘fatwa’, says doing so irresponsible and dangerous
KUALA LUMPUR — Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has today warned politicians against issuing “fatwa” or Islamic religious rulings, calling the irresponsible move a “dangerous trend”.
The Selangor Sultan warned that such a practice must stop as the nation will face strife, division and even violence if politicians are allowed to do so.
The Sultan said fatwas can only be issued by each state’s mufti or fatwa committee after obtaining the consent of their Malay Rulers.
“This is to ensure that the issued fatwas are accurate and bring good to Muslims and all the people,” said the Sultan.
Sultan Sharafuddin also urged senior and veteran political leaders to refrain from causing enmity among Malaysians and to prioritise unity in order to foster a strong sense of national solidarity among diverse ethnic and religious groups for the well-being of the country.
“Take good care of our country because this is the only land of our blood, that we need to defend its prosperity and sovereignty,” said the Sultan.
The Sultan also called on the police to take proactive action in investigating and taking action against those who raise sensitive issues involving religion, race, and the position of the Malay Rulers.
“I emphasised here that the Malay Rulers and the Conference of Rulers have a role in preserving the rights of the Malay people and the Islamic religion is always guaranteed,” he said.
“In addition, the Malay Rulers are also responsible for guaranteeing the rights and safety of the other races that make up the Malaysian people.”
The Sultan said that people should not worry about the preservation of the rights of their respective races and the religion practised by each race in this country.
“This is because national laws, especially the Federal Constitution, have provided rights for all races and religions to every Malaysian,” he said.
Earlier today, the police said Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had finished giving his statement to the police after allegedly issuing a political fatwa that declared voting for Pakatan Harapan’s candidate Suhaizan Kayat in the Pulai by-election last week as “haram”, or forbidden for Muslims.
Last week, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain warned that stern action will be taken against those who play up the topics of race, religion, and royalty, also known collectively as “3R” issues. MALAY MAIL
‘Divide… and risk regress’
KLANG: Politicians must ensure that national unity and harmony are upheld at all times and they have no business issuing fatwa (religious edicts) as they wish, Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has decreed.
The country, said the Sultan, would regress should political leaders harp on propagating racial polarisation and instigating people.
The Ruler said politicians must know their place and not issue religious edicts. If they did so, it was an irresponsible act.
He also reminded all Malaysians, in particular those wielding political power, to ensure that national unity and harmony were upheld at all times.
“The country will regress in every aspect if political leaders are keen on propagating racial polarisation and instigating the people in the name of race and religion,’’ said the Sultan, who is chairman of the National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI).
Fatwas, said the Ruler, could only be issued by state fatwa committees or mufti after receiving the respective state ruler’s approval.
“At the same time, the National Muzakarah Committee, which is under MKI, is responsible for issuing legal opinions (related to the fatwa) after discussions with muftis of every state and the approval of the Council of Rulers,’’ said Sultan Sharafuddin.
The Sultan also urged police to take proactive action in investigating and initiating action against those who raise sensitive issues involving religion, race and the position of the Malay Rulers to deter others from doing the same.
The Ruler told politicians to remember that unity was the nation’s foundation for success.
According to Sultan Sharafuddin, those who fall for the instigation of political leaders could have feelings of suspicion, disagreement, discord and division.
“Extreme polarisation will create elements of radicalism and extremism and can threaten national security.
“Leaders and politicians must instead inculcate national unity among the various races,’’ he said.
The Sultan said his reminder did not mean that he was taking the side of any group or political party.
“I am urging that religion not be used as a tool to gain support because the people will become victims in the fight between politicians who ride on religion.’’
In recent times, several politicians have issued fatwas on how people should vote, claiming that people could go to heaven or hell depending on how they voted.
Sultan Sharafuddin said political leaders should be proposing economic development programmes for the benefit of all. Efforts should also be made to banish divisions among Malaysia’s multiracial and multireligious people.
The Ruler added the younger generation should also be taught tolerance and understanding of the culture and religion of the various races in the country, and reminded everyone of the social contract which protected the rights of every Malaysian.
“The people must not be instigated to create dissatisfaction and suspicion,’’ said the Sultan.
Sultan Sharafuddin added that whilst the Malay Rulers and the Rulers Council were there to protect the rights of the Malays and Islam, the Rulers were also responsible of ensuring the rights and safety of Malaysians of other races.
On fatwas, the Sultan said they were issued not solely based on the individual opinion of one mufti but on the collective and majority consensus of the MKI’s National Muzakarah Committee and the state fatwa committees, which are all made up of religious experts.
These measures were to ensure that fatwas were accurate, he said, adding that the recent practice of political leaders issuing fatwas was becoming a dangerous trend.
“If political leaders and politicians were allowed to issue fatwas, it will only create strife, division and violence in society, which will in turn destroy the civilisation of a race.
“I would thus like to remind and urge everyone, especially political leaders, to immediately stop issuing fatwas irresponsibly.
“I am not willing to see the people divided by the antics of some irresponsible political leaders,’’ said Sultan Sharafuddin.
The Ruler also said it was worrying that issues involving race and religion were always being played up to garner support and votes. ANN
MALAY MAIL / ANN