KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has decreed that key administrators of Islamic religious institutions must comprise of scholars and professionals who are free of influence from political parties.

His Majesty said that the National Council for Islamic Affairs’ role was to ensure those appointed could carry out their duties in accordance with the Al-Quran and the Sunnah.

“Islam should be placed highest, higher that any competition that could cause conflict and disunity among the ummah,” His Majesty in his capacity as council chairman said in conjunction with the council’s 69th meeting at Istana Melawati, Putrajaya on Monday.

Sultan Sharafuddin also thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on behalf of the Council of Malay Rulers for appointing a non-politician as Religious Affairs Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The Sultan said it would ensure the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Federal Constitution in respect to the administration of Islam between the Executive and the Malay Rulers, in accordance with the constitutional monarchy system practised by the country.

“With the appointment of the new Religious Affairs Minister, it is hoped that cooperation between federal and states in matters of administering Islam will grow closer in line with the teachings of the Al-Quran and Sunnah,” the Sultan said.

His Majesty reiterated that the Council of Malay Rulers were above party politics, as they served as trustees who commanded the fealty of their people.

The Sultan also expressed hope that the council meeting today would be a watershed moment to return the role of administering Islam to those who were worthy.

“I have great hopes that all parties will respect the provision of the Federal Constitution that ensures the rights and powers of the Malay Rulers.

“I am confident that with this new beginning, the Council of Malay Rulers as the voice of the Rulers in Malaysia can play their necessary roles to develop Islam’s administration at the federal level and to foster closer ties with the states,” the Sultan said.

The Sultan of Selangor also wished that all Malaysians and ministers would focus efforts to resolve various public issues and restore prosperity to the country.

“I urge all parties to support efforts to strengthen Islam and the council and to place the administration of Islamic institutions at the federal level on the right track.

“Representatives in every state should present suggestions that have been implemented at state level that should be shared for the betterment of our country and fellow Muslims,” His Majesty said.

The Sultan also advised all council members to respect the views of states and to preserve good relations to ensure that the administration of Islam in the country would progress smoothly.

His Majesty also said that the guarantee provided by the prime minister that LGBT groups and concepts of a secular state would have no place in his administration was enough to assure the people that the government was serious in preserving Islamic principles. - Bernama