Putra Mosque has been accused of practising preferential treatment after an incident that happened during Friday prayers, 10 September
A video clip that has been uploaded across social media platforms shows a group of people — said to be a VIP and his entourage — arriving at the mosque in Putrajaya in luxury vehicles and being ushered through the gates for prayers. However, a large crowd that had been waiting outside prior to the VIP's arrival were not allowed in, leading to the accusation that the mosque officials were practising double standards.
The person recording the video can be heard expressing his disapproval, saying they have been waiting outside the mosque since 12.15noon, while the dignitaries who just arrived jumped the queue.
Amidst the controversy, the management of the Putra Mosque has come forward to address the incident by offering an explanation
The management, while denying the accusation of practising preferential treatment, has said that there were no double standards in allowing congregants to join Friday prayers, reported Malay Mail.
The management stated that all its actions were based on guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs), such as the Friday prayers' quota system that is part of the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Under the quota, only 300 people are allowed in a single prayer session, the management said, adding that this includes a quota for permanent congregants who have registered earlier.
"The mosque management also has an allocation for regular congregants who have registered earlier and declared their estimated time of arrival to ensure the number of attendees meets the quota."
According to the management, the number of congregants at the mosque for Friday prayers usually exceeds the current limit by 11am
It explained that the congregants were already informed and advised on the matter, adding that the main gate is closed once the quota is reached, and as such, those who turn up will not be allowed entry.
The management, however, has said that it will do its best to provide the best services to its congregants, and promised to improve the quality of management, reported Free Malaysia Today.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said they will probe the VIP
"There should be no special treatment even to VIP and I would like to stress here that the 'elite (kayangan) cluster' does not exist in mosques," he said, adding that the mosque management should use their discretion and not submit to the whim of certain groups or individuals.
According to the deputy minister, they will wait for an explanation on the matter by the mosque.
In another recent incident, it was alleged that firefighters lost precious seconds in responding to a fire and questions were raised about the department's ability to respond quickly and efficiently: