Snoop squads – remove Rosol as Terengganu Exco and Islam Hadhari Committe Chairman

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi went out of his way during his visit to Indonesia to “shoot down” a move by the Terengganu state government to set up a “snoop squad” or “informers” who would be rewarded for reporting “immoral activities”.

Stating his disapproval of such moves by religious authorities, Abdullah told them to stop policing the morals of Muslims and concentrate on tacking various urgent issues facing them.

The issue at stake is not so much about Terengganu state government attempting to set up a moral “snoop squad” or “informers”, but the credibility and legitimacy of the Prime Minister’s authority.

Why there is yet another attempt at moral policing, and this time under the auspices of the Terengganu Islam Hadhari Committee, despite the previous attempts in Malacca and Selangor to have either volunteer “snoop squads” or Mat Skodeng which were disbanded after the federal government had made known its disapproval as well as the international furore following the scandalous khalwat raid of an elderly American couple in Langkawi in Kedah?

From the statements given by the Terengganu Islam Hadhari Committee chairman, Datuk Rosol Wahid in the past two days, it is clear that the Terengganu state government or at least Rosol is not very convinced by Abdullah’s directive or reasons.

This is because despite Rosol’s denial about a Mat Skodeng squad, he maintained that “We only have informants who are volunteers to provide information to enforcement officers of the state Religious Affairs Department”.

Abdullah rightly rebutted this, pointing out that there was not much difference between spies and informers.

Abdullah should find out why after more than three years of his introduction of the concept of Islam Hadhari, it is still equated by the various religious authorities whether at national or state level with moral policing as to justify the repeated attempts to set up “snoop squads” or encourage “moral spies”.

Abdullah must remove Rosol Wahid as Teregganu State Exco and Islam Hadhari Committee Chairman to restore his credibility, authority and even legitimacy because of Rosol’s defiance or just lack of understanding of his directive to end all “snoop squads” or “moral informers”.

The Mat Rempits, despite or because of the support of Umno Youth leaders Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaluddin, have grown to be an even worse national menace, not only to the Muslim community but to all Malaysians. What are the various religious authorities doing before the Mat Rempit menace careens out of all control?

Corruption has worsened during the past three years despite the pledge that anti-corruption would be the centerpiece of the Abdullah administration, as reflected in the seven-point plunge in Malaysia’s ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 44 in 2006.

Are the various religious authorities prepared to give top priority to fight corruption and abuses of power in their programmes in response to the Prime Minister’s advice that they should be tackling more urgent issues?

  1. #1 by sotong on Friday, 23 February 2007 - 2:12 pm

    What is the root cause of this ” Mat Rempit “?

    The authority and people need to find out its cause and stop it before it is too late.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 23 February 2007 - 3:41 pm

    It’s extremely sad and sickening that we spend an inordinate amount of our time telling these ‘Muslim leaders’ how to behave decently in a multiracial society.

    The first thought that comes to my mind is telling a mentally-challenged child not to wet the bed – but he just goes doing that all the same no matter how many times he is told.

  3. #3 by grace on Friday, 23 February 2007 - 6:12 pm

    I always believe the more suppressed a person, the worst he will become. When givev half chanche will do the unthinkable like rape or incests.
    Bynow the authority could have found the root cause for all these rapes and incest. The real cause is suppression of their freedom-

  4. #4 by kt.phan on Friday, 23 February 2007 - 8:06 pm

    These so-called leaders are fools & making an idiot of themselves every time they comments on something. They thinks they’re the servants of God…but they’re more interested in ppl involving in “immoral activities” like khawat, hugging or holding hands in parks. They’re no better than peeping toms except that they’ve a licence to do so. If they’re really so concerned about Muslims committing “sins” just go to any 4D outlets during draw day…just take a look at the ppl at the Q then you know what I am talking about. They should be there to detain them but why no action?

  5. #5 by abbas gany on Friday, 23 February 2007 - 9:03 pm

    Why waste time, money and physical energy snooping around for courting couples ? Just sit back infront of your tv/astro monitor and you too can be a MAT SKODING. Watch the number of local programmes and/or dramas potraying bedroom scenes, adultery scenes, rape scenes, close promiscuous situations and positions and near kissing scenes between males and females.
    Some even dressed scantily with partly revealing cleavages. WHAT CATEGORY IN SHARIAH DO WE CLASSIFY SUCH INDECENT SCENES MIND YOU IN THE NAME OF ACTING????????????

    The shariah says that even if you jokingly say to your wife that I AM GOING TO DIVORCE YOU HA HA HA, well watch out the statement automatically becomes a LEGAL STATEMENT and STRIKE ONE!!!!! Well, leave you to draw your own conclusions on the above-mentioned situations.

    Therefore much can be done by the muslim community to improve the livelihood of the muslims who are in dire straits. Millions in fact billions of ringgit have been collected in the form of tithes without any accountability and until today there is no statement of accounts. What happened to all that money and where is the baitul maal and who is directly responsible for the baitul maal???

    Collection from the tithes over donkey years could be put to good use and upgrade the muslim community and their living conditions. Muslims need not have to appear in RTM, TV3, and other media and anticipate other races for sympathy and sponsorship.

    So what PAK LAH has hit out is absolutely correct and those responsible must take the PMs warning as a wake up call and dont become PEEPING TOM SQUADS which may eventually and surely transform into PIMPING TOM SQUADS.

  6. #6 by abbas gany on Friday, 23 February 2007 - 9:23 pm

    There is only one solution to this Mat Rempit Menace and that is collect all of them and send them for National Service. Once completed training, they can be chanelled into the Army, Navy, Airforce and Police which seems to have manpower problems.

    These fellas have nothing to do and/or they have all the time in the world going about aimlessly and without a care in the world inconveniencing other hardworking citizens and impeding the country’s progress.

    All so-called learned peope out there sitting in their posh aircon offices and swivelling leather executive chairs , go the bare ground and soil your hands and feet for a change and make a change in the muslim community. DONT SIT AND SEAT BACK and be like some of the caliphs who patrol the days and especially the nights for grouses, grievances, hardships, starvations amongst his subjects and thus personally take all the necessary actions to alleviate their hardships.


  7. #7 by Richard Teo on Friday, 23 February 2007 - 11:51 pm

    Our P.M visited Turkey recently and what he
    saw about the country and its practice of secularism
    should be an eye opener for him.My visit to Turkey
    began on a cold quiet night on 28th Jan.2007 and when
    I finished my tour of Turkey I must confessed I was
    totally fascinated with the country.
    From the start it was a journey of discovery
    to find that the women were dressed like normal human
    beings bereft of any head scarves or tudong.This was
    not only a surprise but a shock when you are told by
    the interpreter and tour guide that Turkey has a
    population of 70 million and 99% of its people are
    muslims.What is even more shocking was that Islam is
    not an official religion of this country which has a
    99% muslim population.Turkey has maintained its
    secularity despite its muslim majority.
    What further shocked me was when the guide
    told me that the govt does not interfere or control
    the religion. This is all left to the imams of their
    respective mosques.And the powers given to the imams
    are limited.They have no authority to detain, arrest
    muslims who dont fast during Ramadam or muslims who
    drink alcohol or even commit khalwat. And what about
    inter marriage between believers and non
    believers?Without a blink he replied that it was up to
    the couple and their families.If they agree they can
    go ahead and no one has the right to stop them. When I
    questioned further why this was the practice his reply
    was short and swift.A man’s belief in his religion is
    between him and God and if he choose to sin then he
    has to answer to God not to man.The govt or the imams
    has no right to punish any muslims who choose to sin.
    The revealation how Islam is practiced here
    was unexpected and I was totally unaware that a muslim
    country like Turkey could be able to practice Islam so
    liberally and with such modernity.
    But is not our P.M espousing Islam Hadhari?If only
    our P.M had taken the trouble to study Turkey’s model
    of how Islam is pracice then perhaps it would be more
    appropriate to adopt Turkey’s model.
    As I returned from my brief sojourn from
    Turkey I wondered aloud to myself, ‘if only we could
    be like…..Turkey’.Better still, if only all muslim
    Malaysians could visit Turkey just once.

  8. #8 by Pengajar on Saturday, 24 February 2007 - 11:15 pm

    A person’s belief is personal; whether or not the belief is of a spiritual nature. When a belief becomes personal, it also becomes the guide to a person’s life and he or she would not do anything to go against it. When a person does not experience what another person experiences in that belief, it will just become a ritualistic routine duty and when the duty is done, he or she will go back to being a human being with no belief. That is why terms such as ” chair warmers ” are coined.
    As for the National Service, the youngsters are there for fun, rather than thinking for the country. They will not behave like they have learned something already. In fact, unless they tell you themselves, you would not know they have been to National Service.
    In a recent peiece of news, the young airforce trainee was ragged into drinking pee and eating shit. One wonders about the indiscipline that is going on in a supposedly disciplined unit.
    So much for religious lessons.

  9. #9 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 25 February 2007 - 5:40 am

    I don’t understand why the fuss about the snoop squad and their nocturnal activities. The snoop squad has been around for years now.

    I participated in some informal snooping myself together with several Malay friends, unsolicited by the State’s religious department, of course, during the school holidays.

    We surprised the couple one of whom (female) was clearly annoyed at the other partner, protesting and saying to him, “Why are you taking so long? You’re not making babies are you.”

  10. #10 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 25 February 2007 - 9:53 pm

    “If they agree they can go ahead and no one has the right to stop them. When I questioned further why this was the practice his reply
    was short and swift. A man’s belief in his religion is
    between him and God and if he choose to sin then he
    has to answer to God not to man.” Richard Teoh

    This was the situation in Malaysia during the time of Tunku, Razak and Hussein. So what changed?? What changed was when Mahathir and Anwar took over the reins of leadership. Mahathir himself has always been a moderate Muslim. But when he chose to ride the wave of Islamic fundamentalism in the 80s, and recruited Anwar Ibrahim to be his deputy, the course of politics in Malaysia changed forever.

    Can future Prime Ministers put the genie back into the bottle??

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 25 February 2007 - 11:02 pm

    “Can future Prime Ministers put the genie back into the bottle??”

    I have my doubts – but the present prime Minister (Badawi) has however, for now, given the right signal. He made it known he disapproved any move by the Terengganu state government to set up a “snoop squad” or “informers” : see link –

    The order is out to stop this moral policing. Whether it will be implemented by down line within religious establishment in every state remains to be seen.

    Son in law Khairy Jamaluddin wrote an interesting piece on this Mat Skodeng issue in his column “out of the Cage” on page 21 of NST Feb 25th under title, “Thankfully, good sense has prevailed”.

    You can read it here :

  12. #12 by undergrad2 on Monday, 26 February 2007 - 12:27 am

    Jeffrey: “…prime Minister (Badawi) has however, for now, given the right signal. He made it known he disapproved …”

    Yes, but notice that he has assumed his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Malaysia Inc. – merely giving broad policy guidelines.

    We are interested in what he is going to do as CEO. He is a weak CEO. His senior managers are not listening to him. So what do we do with a weak CEO?? We boot him out.

  13. #13 by undergrad2 on Monday, 26 February 2007 - 5:25 am

    KJ was talking rubbish when he tried to reconcile Islam with individualism.

    As someone wrote:

    Individualism is antithetic to the Islamic worldview. Individualism emerged in Europe with Protestantism, which held that the believer faced his/her God by him/herself. Islam was clearly not in line with this viewpoint; in fact, ‘Islam’ means Submission, and while the Renaissance Europeans were engaging in free trade based on individualistic precepts, the world’s Moslems were bound to Q’ranic law. An still, today, we find a major rift: the Individualism of the West, and the Submission required by Islam.

  14. #14 by undergrad2 on Monday, 26 February 2007 - 5:28 am

    In other words, Jeffrey, the concept of ‘individual’ rights and ‘privacy’ are alien to Islam.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Monday, 26 February 2007 - 9:31 am

    “In other words, Jeffrey, the concept of ‘individual’ rights and ‘privacy’ are alien to Islam” – Undergrad2.
    It is so. That’s why submission to sovereignty of Almighty and His laws (Syariah) and not sovereignty of man or his laws via parliamentary process.

    It is also unquestioning submission to and embracing of the whole Islamic way of life – they call “adin” of which there can admit no personal space for assertion of fundamental liberties.
    That ‘someone’ is right about “Individualism” being “antithetic to the Islamic worldview”.
    Individualism is an amalgam of various values – sanctity of individual and his rights based on his capacity to reason and to depend on it for charting his destiny and finding salvation. From here the corollary concepts of fundamental liberties including freedom of expression, the social contract and separation of powers, parliamentary democracy develop from a long line of philosophers – from Socrates (emphasizing on questioning and rationality), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (from which “Social Contract” between rulers and ruled was conceived), Thomas Paine, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Jeremy Bentham and his son John Stuart Mill etc) – whose thoughts are constituted of the Western Philosophical tradition in relation to which Islamic philosophy and tradition have not developed in same manner.
    Individualism is a product of Western Philosophical Tradition which also influenced Protestantism (emerging at the same time). Individualism is not a product of Protestantism. However the writer did not say that it was.

    He merely said “Individualism emerged in Europe with Protestantism, which held that the believer faced his/her God by him/herself. Islam was clearly not in line with this viewpoint; in fact, ‘Islam’ means Submission, and while the Renaissance Europeans were engaging in free trade based on individualistic precepts, the world’s Moslems were bound to Q’ranic law.”

    I don’t see him as talking rubbish as you do when you commented “KJ was talking rubbish when he tried to reconcile Islam with individualism”.

    I read him as saying – correctly – that the 2 systems of thought are not reconcilable and hence “today, we find a major rift: the Individualism of the West, and the Submission required by Islam”.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Monday, 26 February 2007 - 9:56 am

    Generally religious purists and fundamentalists point to the difference and embrace submission as many in large swathes of Middle East do. This approach has not brought prosperity, progress nor happiness (unless ‘happiness’ includes self immolation for cause of martyrdom as some quarters believe) in these parts. Instead there were lots of internecine conflicts along intra and inter religious lines in these parts.

    Religious Moderates here believe in reconciling the two seemingly irreconcialable systems of thought by what in law you would understand it to be the constructionist or purpose approach in construction as opposed to ‘literal’.

    In Malaysia there is a contest of the Islamic discourse arena between Moderates and Fundamentalists – we’re at the cross road – and where we turn determines the future, whether dark or sunny. The move against Mat Skodeng is one up for moderates.

  17. #17 by sotong on Monday, 26 February 2007 - 1:15 pm

    True religions do not force its values on others but accept others for what they are.

    Decades of politics of religion had done enormous damage to a multi religious country with permanent and long term consequences.

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 - 12:50 am

    KJ was speaking in defense of Islam Hadhari. The Prime Minister when he took over labeled his ‘version’ of Islam as ‘Islam Hadhari’ as if he had the moral authority to label the fastest growing religion in the world as anything. ‘Islam Hadhari’ is nothing but old wine in a new bottle. The political labeling of the fastest growing religion in the world corrupts the most basic teaching of Islam which is to unite all Mankind. Here it serves to divide and divide Muslims even further.

    In a multiracial and multi religious and multiethnic Malaysia, it is said that there can be no room for anything but a’ moderate’ Islam – as if there is a moderate form of any religion. Islam Hadhari is a political rendering of a religion to suit the needs of a political leader and his brand of politics.

    The event of 9/11 has forced Muslim cleric all over the world to reconsider and reevaluate and react defensively to what they view as the onslaught of the West against Islam. In Malaysia, Malays as a result have been made painfully aware, conscious as Muslims of their place in the scheme of things and view secularism in the post 9/11 world as not in their best interest if not a threat.

    The speech by KJ is nothing more than a self-serving speech, quoting verses from the Holy Koran out of context whenever it suits him. He wrote: “It seems we can’t get enough of moral policing, and more specifically invading and violating people’s privacy, in order to exterminate social ills and make this a better Islamic country.”

    People’s privacy?? That seems to be a western concept with its emphasis on ‘individualism’. Islam like Judaism, on the other hand, stresses the importance of the ‘community’ and ‘communal values’ as opposed to the ‘individual’ and ‘individualism’. The ‘individual’ as a concept to Muslims is irrelevant. Hence an Islamic state can easily deteriorate into a totalitarian state and totalitarianism, fascism or some corrupt form of ‘dictatorship of the people’.

    The apparent displeasure shown against the activities of Mat Skoding, on moral policing generally appears to be a step in the right of direction. Moral policing is an aberration in the political life of a secular nation which has dedicated itself to uphold the constitutional and fundamental values of democracy. The dangers of moral policing in multi religious and multi ethnic Malaysia are no more demonstrated by the arbitrary manner in which the activities are being carried out.

    But to a Muslim is the issue of ‘morality’ an issue outside the realm of politics? A Muslim when asked will not be able to compartmentalize the issues. He would say it is irrelevant – and that is because he is a Muslim.

    So let’s not sing, “Kumbaya, my Lord” just yet.

  19. #19 by shortie kiasu on Saturday, 3 March 2007 - 11:20 pm

    Statistics showed that in this country, almost all the incests were committed by the Muslims, especially the Malays. That is fact based on documented statistics. Rape cases against minors were similarly committed almost all by Muslims, especially the Malays; this is also fact based on reports documented by the police. Why? Aren’t these Muslims or Malays pious enough, or they are misled by the teaching? Very funny, comical but indeed baffling.

    May be the flying snooping squad is indeed a necessity to prevent the continued occurrences of all these cases among the Muslims, especially the Malays.

  20. #20 by Maddresearch on Friday, 30 March 2007 - 8:04 am

    I agreed with shortie kiasu, the group who claimed they are the holiest and they are showing the whole wide world they are the worst!! Please let individual be it, what they want to eat, what they like to wear, what belief they like to have and whom they like to have their relationship with, is one’s individual right? Please do not be KPG Oops…

  21. #21 by akarmalaysian on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 3:19 am

    snoop squad is good…i do dat often in my “taman”…but of course i dun go to the extent of calling the police or any religious quarters.

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