By Amar Shah Mohsen
SHAH ALAM, Sept 12 — The Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj has reprimanded certain politicians who have acted irresponsibly in issuing religious edicts, reminding them that only qualified parties are empowered to make such decisions.
In this regard, His Royal Highness, who is also the National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) chairman, urged all quarters to cease manipulating Islam, merely to garner political support.
In a lengthy statement, Sultan Sharafuddin said the issuance of fatwas can only be made by the state fatwa committees or muftis, after obtaining consent from the respective Rulers.
Separately, His Royal Highness said MKI’s Muzakarah Committee is also given the authority to issue religious edicts after discussing with state muftis and receiving approval from the Council of Malay Rulers.
“A fatwa is issued not only based on the opinion of a single mufti, but must obtain consensus from the members of the Muzakarah Committee and state fatwa committees, which consist of religious figures and experts in their respective fields.
“This is to ensure the fatwas are accurate and for the benefit of Muslims and the whole rakyat.
“If any politicians and political leaders can issue fatwas at will, it will certainly lead to division and violence among the society, which could destroy a civilisation,” Sultan Sharafuddin said today.
As such, His Royal Highness urged all quarters to immediately cease from issuing their own fatwas, in order to preserve Malaysia’s unity.
Sultan Sharafuddin stressed that there is no intent to side with any quarters or political parties, which was why the statement was issued today, following the conclusion of the recent state elections and by-elections.
His Royal Highness was referring to the state elections in Selangor, Kelantan, Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah and Penang on August 12, and the Pulai Paliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections in Johor on September 9.
“This is to prevent my statement from being misunderstood as siding with a certain political group,” said the Ruler.
Sultan Sharafuddin also urged the police to take proactive action by investigating individuals who play up sensitive issues related to race, religion, and royalty, to serve as a lesson to others.
Meanwhile, His Royal Highness reiterated that the Malay Rulers have a duty of safeguarding the rights of the Malays and the Islamic religion, as well as the rights of other races and religions in the country.
“The rakyat and political leaders need not worry about the position of their respective communities, as our law, notably the Federal Constitution, guarantees the rights of all races and religions.
“Separately, the Malay Rulers have a pivotal role in overseeing that these constitutional rights remain intact and protected,” said Sultan Sharafuddin.