KUALA LUMPUR – June 1, 2017: PAS has assured that its members will not be allowed to organise or be involved in political activities in mosques, especially during the fasting month.
In fact the party says that it is not its practice to impose its political beliefs on the congregation in a mosque or other places of worship.
“Nevertheless, it has been a practice for the majority of party leaders to join the local community to break fast and perform the terawih prayers,” said Syura Council chief Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed.
“We also deliver speeches related to the fasting month and on the advantages of feeding the needy. We don’t preach for the people to vote for us while we are in houses of worship.”
When asked on the party’s track record of holding political ceramah (talk) in suraus and mosques, especially in PAS-ruled Kelantan, Mahfodz replied that he has yet to come across such an event.
He was commenting on the widely debated issue involving PKR’s Subang parliamentarian R. Sivarasa, who allegedly delivered a political speech at the An-Nur mosque in Kampung Melayu Subang last week.
Several pictures of Sivarasa speaking in the mosque had gone viral, prompting critics to accuse him of campaigning for PKR in the prayer hall.
One of the pictures showed Sivarasa handing a contribution of RM71,000 to suraus and mosques in Kota Damansara. This prompted many to assume that Sivarasa was representing Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
The controversy also caught the attention of Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah who was reported to be upset.
The sultan had issued a decree ordering the Selangor Islamic Religious Department to act against members of the mosque committee for allowing Sivarasa to hold politically-inclined speech. Sivarasa yesterday denied the allegations.
Mahfodz said Sivarasa and other political leaders must adhere to regulations that have been fixed by the state religious department.
“There is no restriction for non-Muslims to enter mosques and surau, unless one has politically-inclined motives. Any leader who wants to speak on politics can perhaps do so outside the prayer hall.
“On another note, as a parliamentarian in Selangor, he (Sivarasa) should be aware of such a rule that prohibits unauthorised speakers from giving a ceramah in mosques,” he added.