PENANG Religious Affairs Department (JHEAIPP) will be increasing its effort in preventing vice (maksiat) during Ramadan in a series of operation, regardless of the time.
Codenamed Ops Jejak, the operation is aimed at those who show disrespect to the religion.
State Domestic Trade, Consumer Affairs, and Religious Affairs Committee chairman Abdul Malik Abdul Kassim said public areas such as beaches, hotels, entertainment premises and massage parlours would be screened during the night.
“The state government has also prepared more than 50 banners, which will be placed all over the state to remind Muslims of the harsh sentence for not fasting.
“The banners will also be placed at popular eating places and nasi kandar restaurants,” said Abdul Malik.
According to statistics shown during the press conference, between 2010 and 2011 the state has seen a 44.6% increase in reported cases of blatant act of disrespect for the holy month of Ramadan from 51 cases to 92.
However, despite the increase, Abdul Malik said it did not necessarily mean that there were more offenders.
“It means that our efforts will have to be increased and a larger work force is required to ensure that the holy month of Ramadan remains pure,” he said.
Two other operations Ops Judi, which is to curb Muslims from gambling and Ops Noda, which focuses on close proximity (khalwat), vice (maksiat), and other inappropriate behavior in public areas will also be enforced.
Meanwhile, Abdul Malik has also sent reminders to premises having Ramadan buffet promotions that it is compulsory to have Halal certification issued by the Department of Malaysian Islamic Development (Jakim) and the JHEAIPP.
“The state government will not permit Ramadan buffets at hotels or restaurants to operate without being certified by Jakim or JHEAIPP,” he said.
The public can call 019-4256917 (Penang island) and 013-4419300 (mainland) to report any Syariah criminal offences to the authorities.