Khairy Wants Religious Groups To Help The Poor Instead Of Catching Muslims Who Don't Fast

Skipping puasa is, however, a punishable offence under Shariah law.

Cover image via The Malay Mail Online via BERNAMA

Earlier today, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin created quite a stir among Malaysians when he spoke on the controversial topic of religious policing in Malaysia

In a series of tweets, Khairy first highlighted the fact that how Malaysian politicians' schedules are packed with buka puasa events everywhere during Ramadan.

He added that as a politician, he is "aware of this obligation. And I do it. Doesn’t mean I don’t have thoughts about it & how it should be otherwise."

The UMNO Youth Chief then tweeted about how religious departments should help the poor instead of catching Muslims who skip fasting during the month of Ramadan

Khairy, who tries not to court controversy, argued how it was a bigger priority to assist the needy than enforcing religious obligations.

To which, a Twitter user argued that it was compulsory for religious groups to catch those who skip fasting as fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam

Khairy, however, countered him saying that "It is compulsory (wajib) for you to observe the 5 pillars. It is not compulsory for people to catch you not doing it."

When others asked him to do less talking and take more action, the Sports Minister then admitted that this was a difficult matter. "I will be honest with you. Years of bureaucratisation of religion has created a behemoth. Almost sacrosanct," Khairy said in his reply to a Malaysian.

It should be noted, though, that under the Federal Territories Syariah Criminal Offences Act 1997, Muslims can be fined RM1K or jailed for 6 months, or both, if they are caught openly eating, drinking or smoking during Ramadan

Additionally, Azhar Jusoh, the Deputy Commissioner of the Terengganu Religious Affairs Department (JHEAT) had recently said that the religious body will deploy between 150 and 200 patrollers to take action against non-fasting Muslims.

What do you think about Khairy's tweets on the issue?

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