SHAH ALAM: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Idris Ahmad was reprimanded for making inaccurate statements regarding the organization of the Bon Odori festival at the Shah Alam Panasonic National Sports Complex here, on July 16.
In fact, he was suggested to attend the festival himself to understand the difference between religious and cultural activities.
Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah said, he did not want Idris to use the platform of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to issue a statement that could affect the image and reputation of the department.
I do not want certain parties, especially politicians, to use issues that touch on such religious sensitivities for personal gain and gain popularity only. I also urge them not to arbitrarily label something as negative without doing an in-depth survey. They also need to be fair in making any public statement that involves social harmony, he said in a statement today.
He explained that he had attended the celebration of the festival in 2016 accompanied by the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia at that time, Dr. Makio Miyagawa and found that the Bon Odori celebration in the country does not involve religious ceremonies or rituals (shirk) that distort the faith of Muslims.
However, I order the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) and representatives of the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) to attend the festival to get a true picture and ensure that the celebration does not damage the faith of Muslims. In fact, he also did not want him (minister) to use the platform of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) to make statements that are misleading and inaccurate and could affect the image and reputation of JAKIM.
Meanwhile, Sultan Sharafuddin is of the view that the Bon Odori Festival, which has been celebrated in Malaysia for decades, is just a cultural festival. He said that in Malaysia, especially in Selangor, Bon Odori was celebrated to strengthen the spirit of goodwill between the people and the Japanese community who work and reside in this country.
This festival became popular when many companies from Japan invested and opened their factory branches in Selangor. Therefore, Bon Odori is a platform to introduce Japanese entertainment culture as well as closer ties between the people of the two countries.
According to the same statement, the festival showcases the traditional culture of the Japanese people, especially dance, drum performances, lantern ornaments, traditional clothing and food as well as local food products, besides being promoted as a day to reunite family and friends who have not met for a long time.
The Sultan of Selangor said that whatever form of culture is practiced by every society in the world is indeed related to religion, but with the passage of time, such cultural practices no longer highlight religious characteristics. He does not want certain parties, especially politicians, to use issues that touch on such religious sensitivities for personal gain and gain popularity alone.
They are also urged not to arbitrarily label something as negative or to conduct an in-depth survey, apart from being fair in making any public statement that involves social harmony. Sultan Sharafuddin also hopes that the multi -racial people of Selangor will be able to live tolerantly in an atmosphere of goodwill and harmony.
Idris advised Muslims not to participate in the Bon Odori Festival
Muslims are advised not to participate in the Bon Odori Festival which will take place on July 16 because it is found to have other religious elements. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Idris Ahmad said, a study conducted by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) found that the festival did have religious elements.
So we advise Muslims not to participate in it or any program that involves religion and faith," he told the media after attending the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Selangor Islamic Education Foundation (Yapis) Education Complex Project here today.
He said this after being asked to comment on the organization of the annual Bon Odori festival, a Japanese Buddhist festival to honor the spirit of their ancestors, which is expected to be held at the Shah Alam National Sports Complex (Panasonic). The promotional poster for the festival also featured an anime image of a woman wearing a hijab wearing a kimono and it got a negative reaction on most popular sportsbooks social media, especially among Muslims in the country.
Meanwhile, commenting on the issue of slaughterhouse exposure in Australia, Idris said, the man known on social media as 'The Hood Man' (Abdullah) who tried to be tracked before, has been contacted and all information given by the individual will be used as material for next action.
So far the company involved has been suspended and we hope he is okay (after the disclosure). We are grateful and deserve such disclosure. I am confident that in Australia there is no problem with such disclosure because the country is concerned about consumerism.