‘Obey state rule on Islamic sermons’

Sultan Ibrahim says mosque and surau committees that fail to comply with ruling will face action.

MOSQUE and surau committee members risk getting dismissed if found organising events with religious speakers that are not accredited by the Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ).

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar reiterated that only MAINJ-accredited religious speakers are allowed to give talks in the state.

“All mosque and surau committees that want to organise such events must seek permission from MAINJ through the district kadi’s office by submitting the topic and content that will be presented.

“The committees that fail to comply with this ruling will face action and dismissal.

“This is not to stop religious events but to avoid the spread of doctrines that deviate from the teachings of the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jammaah Islamic faith,” Sultan Ibrahim decreed when opening the second sitting of the 15th Johor state assembly.

Previously, Sultan Ibrahim said speakers who wish to conduct talks or any Islam-related activities in Johor must receive credentials from MAINJ in line with Section 118(3) of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Johor) 2003.

This was to curb religious extremists from causing confusion among Muslims and young minds who could be less knowledgeable.

In line with this, the government should improve the quality of education in schools and higher learning institutions to produce more knowledgeable citizens.

Sultan Ibrahim also wants the state government to gazette Orang Asli land as sultanate land to prevent unscrupulous parties from “doing as they please.”

The government has been taking care of the Orang Asli in Johor by providing aid and developing their settlements to make their lives better.

“I am disappointed to learn about certain Orang Asli folk clearing forests for major rubber and oil palm plantation activities.

“I believe there are outsiders playing a part in this, taking advantage of the rights of the Orang Asli besides trying to claim the roaming area, which does not make sense.

“Although the Orang Asli are protected under the Constitution, they must adhere to existing laws.

“Forest encroachment is an offence and the Orang Asli are not exempted from the law.”

He also said property developers should not be allowed to completely flatten the earth when developing hilly areas.

“All local councils in the state must ensure that the original topography of the land is retained as much as possible in developments carried out on hilly and higher grounds. If there is a need to cut the hillslope, the work should be controlled and done minimally.

“I hope all mayors and council presidents will conduct thorough research before approving such plans.”

He also urged all councils not to issue development approval if the developer fails to provide pedestrian and bicycle lanes in their layout plans.

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