Hadi should be mindful of his words and not offend Malay Rulers, says Anwar

Pas president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang should be mindful of his words in order not to offend the Malay Rulers, especially when it comes to sensitive religious comments.

(NST) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Hadi must respect the decisions of Sultans and the respective religious bodies which bar politicians from giving political talks in mosques.

“If we talk about it constitutionally, there is a way for him (Hadi) to talk about the positions of Malay Rulers, whether in the case of what happened in Terengganu or Selangor or in this case, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

“This barring (of politicians giving talks in mosques) applies to everyone, including the Prime Minister. I have to get out of a mosque if I want to talk about politics because the religious jurisdiction of a state is under the powers of the Malay Rulers.

“Therefore, he (Hadi) has to understand this. If he does not agree, he can present a memorandum to Tuanku. Do not attack us because I myself am barred (from giving political talks in mosques),” said Anwar today.

The Perikatan Nasional deputy chairman said it was a responsibility of a leader to touch on Islamic politics as politics and religion cannot be separated.

The Terengganu Islamic Religion and Malay Customs Council had recently issued an order prohibiting religious lectures, talks and political activities by politicians in all mosques and surau statewide.

Despite the ban in Terengganu, Hadi was unfazed, saying he would continue to give lectures as usual in mosques and suraus.

Anwar said Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah in the Islamic Religious Affairs meeting yesterday had also said that mosques should be made livelier (diimarahkan) but cannot be made into a political venue.

“To say that it (such decision) was made on political basis, it is untrue. His Majesty made that decision even before meeting me and so it was not discussed with me.

“The rational of the state (Selangor) was that there were religious talks but laced with too much politics and about (political) parties,” added Anwar.

Anwar said he declined invitations from mosques committees and imams to talk in mosques during his weekly Friday prayers.

“I respect the orders of the respective religious departments based on the decision of their Rulers. So, I refrain (from talking in mosques) and I would just shake hands with the congregation,” he said.