KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa (pic) is all for the Home Ministry’s policy to vet foreign missionaries, saying that national security is top priority.
Mujahid, who is in charge of Islamic religious affairs, said that any preacher, whether Muslim or of other faiths, must be vetted as there is a risk of them preaching ideologies unsuitable for the Malaysian context.
“There is also a possibility that their lectures do not respect the religious and racial sensitivities of this country.
“This is not just an issue of religion, but also national security, so it is only right that the Home Ministry has warned the missionaries,” he said to reporters at Parliament on Wednesday (Oct 30).
On Tuesday (Oct 29), Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told the Parliament that foreign missionaries who are coming to Malaysia to hold religious talks would have their background vetted prior to their speaking engagements.
He said his ministry is conducting the checks with related religious bodies in the country to ensure missionary groups are free from deviant teachings.
“Whoever comes here, regardless of the form of talks, will be monitored. For Muslim missionaries, there are the State Religious Councils and those found not having credentials, will not be allowed. We will also monitor non-Muslim missionaries as well,” he said when winding up debate on the 2020 Supply Bill at Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.
Mujahid added that his Ministry and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will be assisting in the policy by also conducting their own background checks on Muslim preachers.
Mujahid said that every foreigner in Malaysia, regardless of their task here, must be screened, especially when there is a report against them.
He said this applied to all preachers, whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim.
“It’s very important because you have to put the country as your first interest, and the first interest is national security.
“Malaysia is made up of a multiracial and multireligious community, it’s a bit fragile and anything can happen.
“At the moment, we want to look after our priority, so definitely national security will be our top priority,” he said.
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