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Hearses Not To Be Used F`or Protests, Says Selangor Sultan

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PETALING JAYA: Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (pic) has hit out at the misuse of the state’s hearses for demonstrations.

A statement issued Thursday by the Sultan’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani said the Sultan has reminded all parties in charge of managing hearses in Selangor to look after the vehicles and make sure they are only used for funerals.

“His Royal Highness does not want the hearses to be misused for any other purposes, such being rented out for demonstrations, or for any other use, which has nothing to do with the management of funerals,” it said.

The statement did not name anyone but is likely in reference to a demonstration by Red Shirts leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos.

On Feb 15, Jamal staged a protest in Shah Alam against alleged corruption with 16 hearses and coffins.

Jamal, who was dressed like a gravedigger in a white T-shirt and cargo pants with a white towel tied around his head, drove the leading hearse to the entrance of the state secretariat building in Shah Alam.

“Such actions will only create the impression that Muslims are mocking the use of hearses,” the statement by Mohamad Munir said.

Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) director Datuk Haris Kasim in a statement issued on Feb 16, a day after the protest, said Jamal had tarnished the image of Islamic institutions by misusing hearses and coffins for his protest.

Haris said Jamal’s act had tarnished the sanctity of the institution of mosques, adding that religious officials were manipulated by irresponsible people to allow hearses to be used in the demonstration.

Jais, Haris added, was informed after the demonstration that several individuals claiming to be from a coalition of state NGOs had earlier told mosque officials that they wanted to rent hearses for the purpose of, among others, photography sessions, anti-gambling campaigns, exhibitions and so on.

However, the hearses ended up being used in Jamal’s demonstration.


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