‘Islamic bodies should be apolitical’

Royal edict: Sultan Sharafuddin hopes for better cooperation.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has decreed that key administrations of Islamic religious institutions must be composed of scholars and professionals who are free of influence from political parties.

His Highness said that the National Council for Islamic Affairs’ role was to ensure those appointed could carry out their duties in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah.

“Islam should be placed highest, higher than any competition that could cause conflict and disunity among the ummah,” His Highness, in his capacity as council chairman, said in conjunction with the council’s 69th meeting at Istana Melawati, Putrajaya, yesterday.

Sultan Sharafuddin also thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on behalf of the Council of Malay Rulers for appointing a non-politician as Minister of Religious Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The Sultan said it would ensure the principle of separation of powers, with respect to the administration of Islam between the executive and the Malay Rulers, in accordance with the constitutional monarchy system in place in the country.

“With the appointment of the new Religious Affairs Minister, it is hoped that cooperation between the Federal Government and states in matters of administering Islam will grow closer in line with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah,” the Sultan said.

His Highness reiterated that the Council of Malay Rulers was above party politics, as they served as trustees who commanded the fealty of their people.

The Sultan also expressed hope that the council meeting yesterday would be a watershed moment to return the role of administering Islam to those who were worthy.

“I have great hopes that all parties will respect the provision of the Federal Constitution that ensures the powers of the Malay Rulers.

“I am confident that with this new beginning, the Council of Malay Rulers – as the voice of the Rulers in Malaysia – can play their necessary roles to develop Islam’s administration at the federal level and to foster closer ties with the states,” the Sultan said.

The Sultan of Selangor also wished that all Malaysians and ministers would focus their efforts on resolving various public issues and restoring prosperity to the country.

“I urge all parties to support efforts to strengthen Islam and the council, and to place the administration of Islamic institutions at the federal level on the right track.

“Representatives in every state should present suggestions that have been implemented at the state level that should be shared for the betterment of our country and fellow Muslims,” His Majesty said.

The Sultan also advised all council members to respect the views of states and preserve good relations so as to ensure that the administration of Islam in the country would progress smoothly.

His Highness also said that the guarantee provided by the Prime Minister that LGBT groups and concepts of a secular state would have no place in his administration was enough to assure the people that the government was serious about preserving Islamic principles. — Bernama

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