By Nizam Zain
KUALA LUMPUR – The Prime Minister’s Deparment (Religious Affairs) has no power in granting permission to stop foreign tourists, especially China, from visiting state mosques.
Its Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof said, although the government has ordered for the closure to be withdrawn, it is only applicable within the Federal Territories.
“There are two types of mosques. Tourism Mosques under the Federal Territories will be reffered to me.
“So, I will know why and its reasons (for closure).
“At this moment, I have not heard about it (mosques being closed for tour visits) as we have issued a decision.
“I don’t know about the other states. I have no power to close or open them,” he said to the journalists at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia today.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi ordered the tourist attractions in the country, including the Putra Mosque to not stop foreign tourists from visiting their venues.
Meanwhile, Mujahid welcomed the government’s decision by allowing foreign tourists to visit tourist attractions, including mosque despite the country is facing the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
“There is no problem. We have discussed about it and we were informed that they are opened as there is already a mechanism in place to identify the people involved in the case.
“I hope that it would not stop foreign tourists from visiting beautiful mosques, including the Putra Mosque as long as it is under control and do not pose danger to the public,” he added. -MalaysiaGazette