PETALING JAYA: Popular singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza and her husband have denied claims that the tahnik ceremony for their second child breached Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).
In a joint statement, Siti Nurhaliza and Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa explained that the presence of a celebrity preacher did not involve any form of interstate travel.
"Instead, the individual agreed to attend as he was coincidentally in Kuala Lumpur when the ceremony was held," they said in the statement on Monday (May 3).
Siti Nurhaliza's tahnik ceremony for her son Muhammad Afwa became the subject of controversy after social media users claimed that some prominent guests had breached Covid-19 SOP to attend.
Tahnik is an Islamic ceremony to celebrate and welcome a newborn.
The event was attended by prominent figures including celebrity preachers Ustaz Azhar Idrus, Don Daniyal, Iqbal Zain and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.
However, some individuals had questioned the presence of Azhar as he is said to reside outside of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
Siti Nurhaliza and her husband said that since the ceremony was conducted during the movement control order, the programme and the number of guests followed SOP.
"The ceremony was divided into three sessions, with a limited number of guests, close family members and others, as part of the tahnik ceremony to give the name of a child on the seventh day after birth based on the practice of Prophet Muhammad," they said.
They clarified that the morning event attended by the minister was not a special ceremony as claimed by certain quarters.
"On the contrary, he only dropped by to complete the recitation prayers before rushing for other programmes.
"As Malaysians who adhere to the rule of law and are aware of the country's situation, we never take the matter lightly and as long as we are under the MCO, we will try our best to observe it," they said.
They added that the statement was not to defend themselves but to explain issues that could be misunderstood by some.
At the same time, they also apologised if the ceremony caused discomfort to any parties.
"We understand and accept with an open heart all the criticism given to us.
"We are also prepared to give full cooperation to the authorities if need be.
"This will be the last statement from us regarding this issue and we hope that it will be solved and understood well," they added.
Siti, who tied the knot with Khalid, nicknamed "Datuk K", in August 2006, welcomed Muhammad Afwa on April 19 at a hospital in Selangor.
The 42-year-old announced his name during the tahnik ceremony on April 26, seven days after his birth.