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Malaysia

Johor Sultan brands Zamihan liar; cuts off Jakim

Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar called the controversial preacher attached to Jakim ‘arrogant’ and labelled him a liar. — Bernama picKUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar labelled controversial preacher Zamihan Mat Zin a “liar” today for denying he was criticising the Johor Ruler for his decision to stop a laundrette’s Muslim-only policy.

Calling the preacher attached with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) as a caderisation officer “arrogant” for his remarks, the Sultan also decreed that Johor’s religious authorities stop dealing with the federal agency on Islamic matters.

“It seems this ustaz is clever when it comes to lying, how could we learn from him? Don’t deceive me, after this it is enough for him to lecture in front of the mirror to know himself,” Sultan Ibrahim was quoted saying by Sinar Harian.

“If he is really a Jakim lecturer, then I don’t know where Jakim picked him up; after this I command JAINJ to no longer waste its time dealing with Jakim,” he added, referring to the Johor Islamic Religious Department.

He then highlighted that Islamic affairs in Johor was under his authority as the state monarch, based on the Federal Constitution.

“Several mufti and religious experts have made their opinions and arguments regarding the matter, but unfortunately, there is a preacher called Zamihan Mat Zin who criticised my action and mocked the muftis,” he said.

Perlis mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and his Federal Territories counterpart, Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad, were among those who spoke out against the laundry’s Muslim-only policy.

“His way of speaking was arrogant, as if he was the only one who was right, while reviling other races,” he added, referring to Zamihan.

Zamihan was arrested on Wednesday following controversy over his Sunday video lecture in which he complained about “a sultan” who criticised a Muslim-only laundry and described the Chinese as unclean as they allegedly did not wash after urinating and defecating.

In a statement then, he rejected reports that he was referring to the Sultan of Johor and insisted he did not specifically name any Malay Ruler, but went on to apologise to Sultan Ibrahim over any offence caused.

Sultan Ibrahim previously said in a published interview that Johor was not a “Taliban” state and that the laundry owner should “migrate to Afghanistan” if the latter was unhappy with a directive to end the allegedly discriminatory policy of serving Muslim customers only.

After Zamihan claimed he was not attached to the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), the agency confirmed he was an employee and said his case has been referred to its disciplinary board for further action.

The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) has also started a probe into Zamihan’s Sunday lecture, and has temporarily barred him from delivering any religious lecture in the state’s mosques.