No Prophet’s birthday march in Kelantan

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

Kelantan will not hold Prophet Muhammad’s birthday procession this year despite criticisms by several Umno leaders who accused another Pakatan Rakyat state, Penang, as anti-Islam for allegedly planning to cancel the event.

Most Muslim nations celebrate the Prophet’s birthday with a procession after prayers. Saudi Arabia, which practices an austere form of Islam, does not celebrate the event.

“We are not organising any procession just like before, but of course there will be processions in mosques throughout the state, organised by the people to express their love for the Prophet,” said Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob.

“Officially, there will be no government-sponsored procession, instead we will have a religious lecture at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium on Feb 25, followed by special prayers,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Malay daily Utusan Malaysia last week reported that the Penang government was planning to cancel this year’s procession which invited criticisms from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng later denied that the state was planning to cancel the procession, accusing the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia as lying.