Saturday, May 3, 2008

Penang to meet King over religious council presidency - The Star

PENANG: May 3, 2008

The state government will seek an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin to discuss the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP) presidency.

Met after the state assembly swearing-in ceremony yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin said the state had its own candidate in mind to take over the presidency from Umno assemblyman Shabudin Yahaya.

“We have sent a request to the palace in the hope of meeting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Hopefully, we can have an audience with the King sometime this month,” he said.

On May 1, a Malay daily reported that Permatang Berangan assemblyman Shabudin Yahaya would remain MAIPP president despite the state government wanting him to vacate the position.

The King, as the state’s head of Islam, has reportedly asked Shabudin to continue holding the position until his term of appointment expires in December next year.

Mohammad Fairus, who is also the state Religious Affairs, Entrepreneurial and Co-operative Development Committee chairman, said the King had yet to hear the state’s side of the story.

“I believe that this matter can be resolved but it must be handled wisely,” he said.

Opposition whip Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said the King’s decision was non-political.

“This is related to religious administration. If it is a political decision, then we can still debate the issue, but this is not. So as ordinary citizens, we should just accept the decision,” he said.

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