HH the Sultan of Selangor shows the politicians who is the real BOSS

The Sultan finally puts the holier-than-thou religious bigots in the rightful place

(Focus Malaysia) – SO THE apparent stand-off between PAS and the Selangor palace over the Bon Odori festival has led to the ruler of the land summoning state PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi to a meeting at the Istana Bukit Kayangan yesterday (June 15).

This is rightly so as the pro-Muslim party has continued ‘to hymn melody of discord’ despite Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah having put his foot down by instructing the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) to not in any way obstruct the annual Japanese ‘dancefest’ from being staged in Shah Alam on July 16.

Recall that His Royal Highness had also ‘invited’ Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs, Datuk Idris Ahmad, who asked Muslims to refrain from attending the event to experience the festival himself.

This comes after Sultan Sharafuddin insisted that the event should remain open to all Malaysians irrespective of race and creed.

At this juncture, nobody knows for sure what is Sultan Sharafuddin’s ultimate stance on the matter is except for the tweet by the Selangor Royal Office that he has met Ahmad Yunus for one hour at the Bukit Kayangan palace.

The only reaction available at the time of writing is that of Selangor PAS liaison secretary Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir who said they were contacted by the palace yesterday as Sultan Sharafuddin wanted to know the party’s stance on the festival which will be held at the Shah Alam Sports Complex.

“His Majesty wanted to know our position on the Bon Odori festival,” he told the New Straits Times. “His Majesty gave his views and we also conveyed to him that we respected his stance.”

“We told Tuanku our position and most importantly, we told him that we are – all the way – supportive of the palace’s role in uniting the rakyat. We have no problems with each other.”

Sounding defiant or otherwise, Roslan added that the party’s stance remained the same as that of Idris who had advised Muslims against participating in the festival.

This came after Idris claimed that a study conducted by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) found that the festival contained elements of other religions (Buddhism/Confucianism and honouring the spirits of one’s ancestors).

Idris’ call was echoed by the PAS Ulama Council and its women’s wing. Roslan added that they would abide by what was said by Idris who is also a PAS vice-president as it was merely advice to Muslims not to attend it.

“It was not calling for the festival to be cancelled,” added Roslan.

In the name of diversity, Sultan Sharafuddin had advised Idris against using JAKIM to issue misleading and inaccurate statements that may mar the department’s image and reputation.

For the record, the Bon Odori festival has been staged in Malaysia as far back as 1977 by the Japanese expatriate community (also staged in Penang but at a lesser scale).

The event is Selangor next month which is dubbed the largest outside Japan is seen as a social event for Japanese businesses which has contributed tremendously to the prosperity of the state’s economy to inculcate goodwill with locals.

It is jointly organised by the Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur, the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur and the Japanese Embassy with support from the state government.

A statement issued by the Selangor Royal Office on June 9 also read that Sultan Sharafuddin had himself attended the event in 2016 accompanied by the then Japanese ambassador to Malaysia and through his observation found that the Bon Odori celebrations did not involve religious elements or rituals.