Serious talk: The Star’s group managing director – chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai and journalist Rahimy Rahim interviewing Sultan Sharafuddin .
KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor will not make Friday and Saturday its rest days, said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
The Sultan said that Selangor had been a centre of nationwide and international commerce even before Independence and switching to a Friday-Saturday weekend might discourage investments and affect business dealings in the state.
“There are many international businesses in Selangor and I do not think that the banking community would like it (a change).
“If Friday is a public holiday, it will be hard to coordinate with other countries, including Singapore.
“It will be hard for the business community to carry out their transactions and it could affect the stock markets,” he said in an interview with The Star.
Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar announced the change to Friday and Saturday as rest days from the present Saturday and Sunday effective Jan 1.
The Johor Ruler said the change would make it more convenient for Muslims to perform their Friday prayers.
Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu are the states which now have Friday and Saturday as their off days.
Sultan Sharafuddin said in Selangor that there have been no complaints from the Muslim community on any problems in performing the Friday prayers.
“Every time I go to a mosque in Selangor on Friday, it is always full. The employers have always been accommodating and allowed their staff to perform their religious duties.
“There is no reason for us to change it (the weekend) to Friday (and Saturday),” he said.
On the raising of racial and religious issues in the country after theGE13, Sultan Sharafuddin urged the rakyat of the various races and religions to continue to respect one another.
“I think the rakyat of different races get along well with one another, but certain issues are created by politicians. We must always remember that the country cannot progress without teamwork and without the help of all the races. Malays, Indians, Chinese and the others must learn to work together as no single race can move forward alone,” he said.
Sultan Sharafuddin, who is the head of Islam in the state, reminded Malaysians not to touch on the religious sensitivities of other groups.
“For many years, each group never touched on the religious and cultural sensitivities of others. We never criticised or questioned what the other groups were doing.
Referring to the issue on the use of the term Allah, he said: ”I hope that the non Muslims will not get involved in all things Islam.”
He expressed regret that there were still cases of people using mosques for political ceramah in the state.
“The reason I disallowed this practice was because it could divide the ummah (community). We should go to the mosque to perform our duties to God,” he said.
The interview with the Sultan was held in conjunction with his 12th year on the throne and his 68th birthday on Dec 11.