The Selangor government is powerless when the state Islamic Religious Department (Jais) takes action against Muslims in the state, said Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
According to Selangorkini, the Menteri Besar said Jais must refer to the state government and executive council (exco) only when it took action against non-Muslims.
“When Muslims are involved, Jais does not need to seek the views of the state government,” Khalid was quoted as saying by the state government’s official website.
He was responding to Jais’s controversial arrest of four individuals for khalwat (close proximity) while they were in the midst of packing to move house.
Hanisha Abdul Rahman, 29, was arrested with her driver, Muhammad Mukamil Nordin, and two others on June 22, after they had been under surveillance for five minutes.
During the arrest, Hanisha had been standing at the entrance to her house while her two female colleagues, who were also her housemates, were inside. Muhammad had been standing outside.
Khalid urged Jais to explain itself and stressed that the enforcement body must carry out its duties properly.
“I hope Jais can learn from this because sometimes it takes action without following procedure. Arrests such as these are troublesome,” said Khalid yesterday.
Jais, the enforcement arm of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), has often courted controversy over its methods to uphold Islam, which included conducting raids and seizing the holy books of other religious practitioners.
On June 1, it faced heavy criticism when it disrupted a Hindu wedding of Zarinah Abdul Majid on the grounds that she might be a Muslim.
Although Khalid had promised to resolve Zarinah’s religious dilemma, there has been no new developments on her case to date.
Jais also faced public pressure after it conducted a raid on the office of The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seized 321 Malay and Iban-language Bibles in January, which neither it nor Mais has return.
Despite the attorney-general’s decision that the Bibles’ existence did not breach any laws, Khalid on Wednesday was unable to say when BSM could have its Bibles back.