Jakim still waiting for Johor Sultan's consent for audience

PUTRAJAYA: The Johor Palace has yet to grant the consent to the Malaysian Islamic Development Department's (Jakim) request for an audience following the Johor Ruler's instruction to state religious authorities to cease dealings with the department.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (pix) said a letter has been submitted to the Johor Palace in requesting for an audience with Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.

"We have sent the letter. God willing, we will have an audience with His Majesty if he gives his consent," he told reporters after officiating a function with muslim non-governmental organisations at Jakim headquarters.

Jamil Khir however, was reluctant to give further comment over the matter when pressed by the media.

He also refused to provide answer when asked on the effects by the move made by Johor or whether it would prompt the other states to follow suit.

"Don't ask too many questions. Do not make any speculations," he said.

"Religious affairs is under the state's jurisdiction and all should understand this. It is under the state," he added.

The rebuke by Sultan Ibrahim came after a Jakim officer Zamihan Mat Zin had allegedly criticised the ruler over the issue involving a muslim-only laundry in Muar.

A video which has since gone viral had shows Zamihan rebuking a "Sultan" for his statement on the Muslim-friendly laundrette which, according to him, had only made the issue bigger.

The video, which had been republished by several media organisations, had also shown Zamihan taking a hit at the Chinese community, deeming them dirty as they do not wash up after urinating or defecating.

Zamihan, who is also the president of Sunni Organisation Malaysia, had since apologised to the Johor Ruler after his remarks landed him in hot water.

Earlier in his speech, Jamil Khir admitted that Jakim has no locus standi to exert jurisdiction over states as religious matter falls under the purview of the respective states.

"It is true what His Majesty had said, that religious matters are under the state. Jakim does not have the locus standi under the law.

"The (Islamic) law is under the state, enforcement is under the state and even arrest is made under the state," he said.