Selangor Sultan calls on Muslims to build ties with M'sians of other races, religions

DAWN CHAN

SHAH ALAM: Fardhu Ain and Kifayah (Kafa) school teachers in Selangor must play a role in the Muslim community of inculcating in children a sense of tolerance and respect for people from all backgrounds in this multiracial country, the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah decreed today.

Sultan Sharafuddin said Kafa teachers must educate children to respect their parents, teachers and leaders, while building relationships with people outside of their communities, regardless of race or religion.

"(Children) must be made to understand and respect other religions and races in our multiracial country. If they are educated on this from primary school, I am confident that our country will boast a rakyat that knows how to live in tolerance, and the country will be peaceful and harmonious. I do not like to see the Malay Muslims (separated from other races and religious groups in a way) that would be detrimental to the community, and which causes them to be left behind," he said today.

Sultan Sharafuddin said this in his royal address at a multaqa programme with mosque and surau officers, Kafa, as well as Takmir teachers, at Stadium Malawati, here.

Also present were Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.

The Sultan also described mosques, suraus and Kafa schools in Selangor as important Islamic institutions that defend the beliefs and identity of Muslims, and are platforms to spread the teachings of Islam.

He urged the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), with the support of the Selangor state government, to consistently hold discourses (wacana) to discuss religious issues in the state.

Sultan Sharafuddin also reminded mosques, surau officers and committee members to carry out their duties honestly, transparently and trustworthily.

"Do not have factions in mosques, where it becomes an arena to bring down each other for self-importance. Organised planning and agreement will make a mosque an area of congregation and to strengthen ties. Mosque officers must also be cautious of non-certified speakers who we are worried would spread deviant teachings to the congregation.

"Mosque officers must also ensure that their institutions are not used as places for politics. Mosques must also be kept clean. I want mosques to not only be visited by senior citizens, but the younger generation as well," the Sultan added.

Sultan Sharafuddin also thanked the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) for assisting the Selangor state government in paying the allowances of imams as well as giving special contributions to bilals and siaks.

"I would like to also thank Jakim for their payment contributions to takmir and Kafa teachers, as well as mosques' takmir coordinators," he said.