PETALING JAYA– Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has asked Religious Affairs Minister, as well as other politicians to avoid using religion for their own personal or political gain.
A statement posted on Facebook today said, “His Highness does not want any quarters, especially politicians, to use religious sensitivities for personal and political gain.
The Sultan also warned the Minister of Religious Affairs Idris Ahmad to not use the Islamic development department (Jakim) and make “confusing and inaccurate statements which could negatively affect the image and reputation of the department and Islam.
His Highness also advised Idris Ahmad to attend the Japanese festival to ‘understand the difference between religion and culture’.
Idris on Tuesday urged Muslims not to take part in the Japanese community’s annual Bon Odori summer festival, claiming that the celebration is “influenced by elements of other religions”.
The festival is scheduled to be held in Shah Alam on July 16 and in Penang on July 30.
Sultan Sharafuddin said the festival must be allowed and Muslims should not be stopped from attending or participating in it.
“The festival had been held in the country for decades and encouraged unity between Malaysians and Japanese residents.
“His Highness attended such functions accompanied by the Japanese ambassador to Malaysia in 2016. In his observation, His Highness has never seen religious or ritualistic (syirik) performances (during the functions) that could distort the beliefs of those present,” the statement read.