Efforts to regulate preaching via social media platforms underway

EXCLUSIVE Islamic Dakwah Foundation Malaysia (Yadim) is working with relevant religious agencies to amend regulations related to preaching Islam and the use of various social media platforms, said its chairman Hasanuddin Yunus.

This is because matters related to Islam comes under the jurisdiction of the state, not federal government.

“For those who speak through social media, there is an effort being undertaken because the credentials are meant for those speaking in mosques and suraus.

“Suppose I conduct a live session here, the Federal Territories Religious Department (Jawi) would be empowered, through this amendments, to query me if my talks touches on sensitive issues,” he explained.

He said this when he was asked about the relevance of credential letters since preachers are conducting live sessions that blurs state boundaries.

“Speaking without credentials is an offence, though the punishment may differ.

“Secondly if the content poses a threat to 3R, disrupting the process, peace, they can be charged by the enforcement agencies either the police of religious department enforcement officials in the state where the video is made.

“We can cooperate with Communication and Multimedia Ministry for that.

“Having said that I don’t want the enforcement to be disrupting the work of good preachers by threatening and scaring them away until they don’t want to do it.

“We want those who bring positivity to continue and we want to enforce via PDRM on those who can cause negative effect on listeners,” he said, referring to the police force.

Credential letters sets the professionalism benchmark

Credential letters, better known in Malay as ‘surat tauliah‘ is a requirement for preachers before they are allowed to preach in the mosques and suraus.

He also defended the credential letter system as one that is akin to ensuring the professionalism of the preachers.

“Preachers have a system to be certified by the religious department at the state level. The credential system exist.

“If there are no certificates the preachers would not be allowed to preach in mosque and surau . To gain the credentials one must sit for exams.

“Even though I am Yadim chairman, even I have to attend credential process, I took the exams and an interview to ensure that the system works.

“Credentials have been enforced throughout this country. It is not the same as professional credentials but at least there is a test in the field of religion.”

This is the final part in the series of interview with Yadim. In Part 1, Hasanuddin spoke about the need for preachers to toe the line with the vision of Malaysia Madani.

In Part 2, he agreed that there are action that needs to be taken against preachers who go about insulting other faiths.