KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — The authorities will investigate and take action against a Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officer who allegedly criticised Johor Ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar in a religious lecture on Sunday.
theSun Daily quoted Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Muhammed as saying that his ministry would take immediate action against preacher Zamihan Mat Zain.
“The Home Ministry will investigate and take action,” he reportedly said in a short text reply when asked if Zamihan would be investigated for sedition.
The report also quoted an unnamed Jakim spokesman confirming an internal investigation.
Zamihan had reportedly criticised the Johor Ruler in a religious lecture at the Masjid Tengku Ampuan Jemaah in Shah Alam on Sunday.
In the lecture, which was caught on video and shared on Youtube, the president of Sunni Organisation Malaysia (Aswaja) said the sultan was wrong to stop a laundrette in Muar from implementing a Muslim-only policy.
Zamihan was also caught on video making racist remarks about the Chinese, calling them “unhygienic” for not washing up after urinating and defecating, and for consuming alcohol and pork.
He then said that it justified Muslims not wanting to use washing machines that have washed clothes used by the Chinese.
The report also quoted interfaith group Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) president Datuk RS Mohan Shan as describing the situation as worrying.
“And the insults he hurled on the Chinese cannot be condoned. I can tell that he’s a racist. He’s a religious department officer, the words he use should be polite, and not bring racial tension.
“It is very irresponsible of him. All I can say is that other religions are just sad to have this kind of religious officers coming up with this kind of statements,” he was quoted saying.
The Malay Rulers have expressed their support today for the condemnation of Muslim-only launderettes by the Johor Sultan and Perlis’ Raja Muda, in a statement delivered by the Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal Tan Sri Syed Danial Ahmad.
* Editor's note: Zamihan claims to have left Jakim 13 years ago, but in a later statement, its director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha says the preacher works as its caderisation officer.