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Saturday February 27, 2010

Respect all religions, says Ruler

TAIPING: The position of Islam and also that of other religions practised in this country is protected by the Federal Constitution and must be understood and respected, the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah said.

He said failure to comply with the Federal Constitution, which was formulated based on the history of the country and which had been accepted by everyone representing the various races and religions, could cause disharmony and possibly lead to confrontation.

“The people must never try to create any issue or provocation that can jeopardise the harmony which had been forged between the people of various races and religions.

Royal greeting: Sultan Azlan Shah chatting with the students of Sekolah Menengah Sains Raja Tun Azlan Shah during the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebration at the Dataran Perbandaran Taiping in Perak yesterday. With him are Tuanku Bainun and Raja Dr Nazrin Shah. — Berna

“Any provocative action can threaten solidarity and public peace,” he said when launching the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebration at the Dataran Perbandaran Taiping here yesterday.

He said the Constitution protected the position of Islam and placed it directly under the powers of the Rulers, while the followers of other faiths were allowed to practise their religions peacefully, although these religions were not allowed to be preached to Muslims.

Also present were Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun, Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara, Raja Dihilir Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa, Raja Puan Muda Perak Raja Normahani Raja Shahar Shah, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his wife Datin Sharipah Zulkifli.

Sultan Azlan Shah said it was feared that if the people were too engrossed in factional politics, the future of the country could be at stake and the Muslims might lose what had become their religious rights and racial privileges.

“Have the Muslims in this country reached a position that they can become a model for the whole ummah? Have the Muslims achie-ved solidarity and the strength to defend the integrity and virtue of their religion if others were to ridicule Islam?” he said.

At the function, Sultan Azlan Shah presented the Model Family Award to Jurij Sulaiman and the Model Missionary Figure Award to Mohamad Hafiz Ng Abdullah.

Jurij raised five children who became successful in various fields, while Mohamad Hafiz Ng had been preaching Islam since 1992.

The Ruler also presented the Model Public Religious School Teacher Award to Soed Ibrahim, who has had more than 30 years’ teaching experience, and the Model Religious Official Award to Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar.

In JOHOR BARU, the Sultan of Jo-hor Sultan Ibrahim, expressed concern over gamblers who resorted to polytheism for riches, such as seeking numbers by stepping over graves.

In his speech at the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebration at Masjid Sultan Abu Bakar, he said the state Islamic Religious Department had been directed to take stern action against people in the state who did things that contravened the religion.

He criticised members of the congregation who could not wait for the recitation of prayers to be completed to leave the mosque.

“I still do not understand. There are congregation members who are in a hurry to leave the mosque before the prayers are over.

“I had asked the Islamic Religious Department to shorten the prayers for the Sultan so that the congregation need not wait long to go about their business, but there are still those leaving the mosques (early).

“The prayers are already short. If they are shortened further it would appear that we don’t want to pray for God’s blessing and guidance,” he said. — Bernama

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