FT mufti pays 'surprise' visit to halfway house

PETALING JAYA: It was a moving scene when Federal Territories mufti Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri visited the Persatuan Kebajikan Komuniti Ikhlas Malaysia (Ikhlas) on Lorong Haji Taib in Chow Kit.

The visit to the centre, which hosts drug users, sex workers, transgender individuals and ex-convicts, was arranged by activist Syed Azmi Abhalshi who posted about the event on social media.

"When he arrived, they were all lying around. When I invited Datuk Mufti to come, I did not tell anyone except the Ikhlas staff because I wanted to surprise them.

"True enough, some even jumped at the sight of him," said Syed Azmi in a Facebook post on Thursday.

"The Mufti asked 'did you fast today?' 'Noooo' some answered loudly. Hadoyyyyy" said Syed Azmi, highlighting a light-hearted moment.

In his post, Syed Azmi recounted the gratitude expressed by those at the centre for the visit.

He said that Zulkifli began with a talk, after which he opened the floor to questions.

"They voiced out how people look down at them and that hurts. I was truly touched when the mufti apologised on behalf of other Muslims who treat them badly," said Syed Azmi.

Zulkifli also gave out duit raya and also lead a prayer session.

In a later Facebook post, Syed Azmi voiced his appreciation to Zulkifli.

"I particularly liked the part when he asked each and everyone's name and where they come from," he said.

Zulkifli also took to Facebook to speak about his visit to the centre.

"What heart would not be touched when seeing them, who are judged by society, jostling to shake my hand.

"It was clear in their faces that they were excited and touched by my visit there.

"Deep in their hearts, 1,001 rays of hope radiate to guide them and help them enjoy life in mainstream society," said Zulkifli in a Facebook post on Thursday.

He added that the visit would not be his last.