Malaysian enforcement authorities have detained 16 people and carried out 120 inspections allegedly in connection with those identified as linked to the dissemination of Shia teachings in the country.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said based on reports from state religious departments (Jain), 139 more cases were being monitored.
He said the government acted professionally when taking action against those spreading the teaching and would act against and charge them in court after gathering ample evidence.
Nonetheless, he said the authority would continue to monitor and take action against those who followed and embraced the teaching.
He said there were an estimated 1,500 Shia followers, according to police information, and the number did not include tourists, foreign students or foreign nationals on temporary stay here (in the country).
Jamil Khir was replying to a question from Barisan Nasioanl’s Jelebu MP Zainuddin Ismail in the Dewan Rakyat, who wanted to know about those involved with the Shia sect and the action which had been taken against them.
In curbing the teachings at the early stage, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) cooperated closely with agencies and JAIN (state religious department) to get information on individuals and the Shia movement at institutions of higher learning (IPT) and schools.
“The information will be passed on to the school authorities and IPT to enable them to take action under the respective regulations,” said Jamil Khir, adding that briefing programmes on the Shia sect would be conducted in IPT and schools.
Jamil Khir said all states had gazetted a ban on the Shia sect, except for Kelantan, Sarawak and Sabah which had their own provisions to curtail the movement.
Jamil Khir urged Muslims in the country to stay away from the teachings and those known to spread the doctrin apart from Sunni teachings.
“Muslims in Malaysia should only hold on to the Islamic principles and teachings based on Sunni tradition.
“Practising anything other than what is enshrined within Sunni tradition are prohibited.” he reiterated.