15 January 2011
Azan dispute solved as ‘MCA man’ moves out
Protesters from Pekida burn effigies in mock outrage outside the Al- Ikhlasiah mosque after Friday prayers yesterday.
The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs claimed today that there was no longer any dispute surrounding a MCA member who “demanded” a city mosque to lower the volume of the daily “azan”, as he had apparently “moved away” from his own home in Pantai Hill Park.
Mohd Jurit Ramli, who is secretary-general of the coalition of NGOs, said that he was informed that the individual, who is also a lawyer had written an email to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) saying that he wanted to move away from his condominium in Pantai Hill Park for “safety reasons.”
Pantai Hill Park is approximately one kilometre from the mosque.
“I have been informed by the authorities which received his complaint that they have received an email two or three days ago saying that the individual himself now wants to move because he fears for his safety..that is the information we received,” Jurit told The Malaysian Insider this morning.
“We consider this matter solved. We do not want this to drag on any further. We want a peaceful environment, if it is not peaceful, there will be no content,” said Jurit.
The “MCA member” has been accused of penning a letter to the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) on December 20 last year, complaining about the volume of the Muslim’s “azan” or the call to prayer blared every morning over the loudspeakers at a mosque near his residence. His letter had sparked an outrage among the Muslim community, leading to a protest by members of welfare group Pekida and Malay rights group Perkasa outside Masjid al-Ikhlasiah in Kampung Kerinchi yesterday afternoon.
The group also called for the MCA man to be arrested under the ISA for threatening national harmony and demanded that he issued an open apology to the Muslim community.
They distributed the fax purportedly sent by the MCA member to PMO where he revealed that he has been a party member since 1998.
He also said that he has been living in Pantai Hill Park for five years and was roused in the mornings by the mosque’s call for prayers.
“Several months ago, I hear the sound from the mosque to be very loud until that it woke me every morning at 5.45am,” the letter read.
“I respect the position of Islam as the country’s official religion under the Federal Constitution but my right to sleep, rest and pray in peace should also be respected.
“I am of the view that loudspeakers in any house of worship of any religion should be controlled by the authorities through clear and scientific rules like the calculation of decibels, and should not flout the law.
“Like in my hometown of Seremban, the sounds from the mosque is softer and more controlled,” he continued.
It is understood that the man identified had once worked for a former MCA president who was also a Cabinet member.
The man could not be contacted for confirmation that he had written the letter, which was carbon copied to several ministers in PMO.
However Jurit said today that the individual still owed the Muslims in the area a public apology.
“This move is needed to soothe the situation and we want everyone to respect the rights and religion of other races,” he said.
Jurit admitted that his group had not met the lawyer personally or visited his residence.
“Why should the authorities entertain the complaints of an individual? Unless he represents an organisation or a party...no one should entertain his requests,” said Jurit.
Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali said recently that no directive was issued to the mosque here to lower the volume of its loudspeakers. The mosque concerned is situated near a new commercial development area called Bangsar South, and was first opened 30 years ago, while the lawyer only moved to the Malay-majority neighbourhood about five years ago.
Pantai Dalam used to be dominated by squatters and low-cost flats but has seen the development of luxury apartments and commercial property in recent years.
The Muslim call for prayer first became a political issue in 2008 when Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly asking a Puchong mosque to stop playing the azan over its loudspeaker.
Kok, who was released a week after her arrest, denied the allegation while the mosque’ committee members also came forward to defend the Selangor DAP chairman.
Why make it such a big fuss? Smells fishy on this issue...someone creating drama. This "guy from pantai hill park" might not even exist at all....who knows.
All these UMNO and MCA sandiwara! How to trust the present BNs government?
Vote for a Change!
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