The Sultan’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani said it had been an annual tradition for the Ruler to hold breaking of fast programmes with the rakyat at each of the nine districts across Selangor in order to distribute Hari Raya aid from the Selangor Zakat Board to asnaf (tithe recipients) and the less fortunate.
“However, during Ramadan this year, His Royal Highness with a heavy heart has decided that he will not participate in breaking of fast events and terawih prayers with the rakyat at mosques across Selangor,” said Mohamad Munir in a statement yesterday.
The decision, he explained, had taken into consideration safety factors and to avoid the risk of exposure to the rakyat.
The holy month of Ramadan is likely to start on April 24.
In an exclusive report in The Star on April 1, Sultan Sharafuddin voiced his concerns over the fasting month when there will be prayers, breaking of fast gatherings and food bazaars, which will see a huge number of people gathering.
“It will be impossible to have social distancing in enclosed areas, whether in mosques or narrow streets at these markets, and we will be exposed to the virus. Our safety comes first,” he said in the interview.
Sultan Sharafuddin, who is head of Islam in the state, also said that
he had begun discussions with the relevant agencies such as the Selangor Islamic Religious Department and Mufti Department over these matters.
Mohamad Munir, however, said the distribution of Hari Raya aid and tithe to eligible recipients would proceed as usual, but it would not be handed out at breaking of fast programmes like in previous years.
“The Selangor Zakat Board will channel zakat and Hari Raya aid worth RM500 to each recipient through a safe and efficient method, through direct credit to the accounts of recipients,” he said.
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