Maghrib closure not new in Kelantan; only applies to Muslim night market traders, says Fattah

Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah

KOTA BARU: The requirement for night market traders to cease activities for 10 minutes during the Maghrib prayers is not a new a ruling by the state government, but something that has been practised since 1995.

State Local Government, Housing, Youth and Sports committee chairman Datuk Abdul Fattah Mahmood said that there is a misconception among many members of the public; especially the non-Muslim community, that the ruling was something new, enacted by the local municipal councils in Kelantan.

"In a recent local government committee meeting, we have decided to enhance the ruling on night market traders starting early this year and many seemed to be confused over the move.

"They are saying all business premises must be closed during Maghrib prayers. That is false.

“This ruling only applies to night market traders," said Fattah in a press conference here today.

Fattah went on to explain that the ruling also does not apply to, nor will be enforced on the non-Muslim traders and thus there should be no worry, over the matter.

"However, in my opinion, it may not be wrong for them to have a break while the Muslim traders temporarily cease doing business during Maghrib prayers," he clarified.

Fattah also urged non-Muslim business owners to come forward and engage in a dialogue with him directly over the issue, should they have any confusion.

The decision to enhance the practice of closing business during prayers in Kelantan, caught national attention this week, prompting various parties to voice out their concerns.

Salor assemblyman and Parti Amanah Negara vice-president Datuk Husam Musa, questioned the need for businesses to shut for Maghrib prayers.

Husam had reportedly said the order should only be limited to Muslim business owners as non-Muslims do not need to perform Maghrib prayers.