Wednesday September 28, 2005
House astir over ‘azan’ proposal
Reports by NICK LEONG, IZATUN SHARI AND ELIZABETH LOOI
A PROPOSAL by Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw to regulate the Azan (a Muslim call for prayer) so that it will not be too loud or disturb non-Muslims caused a stir in the House.
Muslim MPs accused him of being insensitive and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz blasted the DAP member for allegedly trying to destroy the multi-religious tolerance in the country.
Dr Tan made his remarks when he diverted from the topic of allocation for mosques in the 2006 Budget during the debate on Supplementary Supply Bill at the committee stage.
“I have received complaints from people in my constituency, which has a majority of non-Muslims, that the azan for subuh (dawn) prayers is too loud and wakes them up abruptly. I hope the Government will regulate this,” he said to objections and shouts from several MPs.
Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN – Sri Gading) warned Dr Tan to stop talking about the matter as, he said, it was a sensitive issue.
Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN – Larut), citing the Standing Order, told Dr Tan to retract his remarks.
Mohamad Nazri, when winding up the debate, told the DAP MP that he should not attempt to destroy the tolerance among the multi-religious society that had been upheld for many years in the country.