IPOH: April 30, 2008 By HAH FOONG LIAN
Perak Religious Department director Datuk Jamry Sury (pic) has been removed from the post with immediate effect.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin downplayed the removal.
Sources claimed the reason was Pakatan Rakyat government felt that Jamry was not cooperating with it.
Nizar told reporters yesterday that the transfer was a normal administrative procedure.
On whether Jamry’s removal was because the director was not cooperating with the new state government, Nizar said, “I don’t know. You have to ask him.”
Jamry was seconded to the post of director from the state secretariat three years ago.
It is learnt that Nizar had summoned Jamry to his office yesterday morning and asked him to vacate his office immediately.
Nizar apparently told Jamry that he had failed to work with the new government even after it had been in power for 40 days.
Confusion also seems to be growing over the composition of mosque committees in Perak, with members being uncertain about their status.
Some committee members claim that mosques in Manjung had been taken over by a new line-up while others have been told to draw up a list of new committee members.
According to mosque committee members, including some chairmen, who gathered yesterday to voice their concerns to Pangkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, some of the mosques in Manjung district had been taken over by a new line-up that had started organising activities, while others were told the state government had asked for a new list of committee members to be drawn up.
Existing members are not happy that the Pakatan Rakyat government did not discuss the matter of new committee members, imam or bilal with them.
Manjung district mosque coordinator Mohd Salleh Basiron said the list of mosque committee members wasdrawn up by the district religious administrative officer with the penghulu and Orang Besar Jajahan (local chieftain), and submitted to the Perak Malay Customs and Religious Council, which is chaired by the Sultan, for endorsement.
He said the district religious administrative office did not ask for a new list. The instruction for one came from the state government, and this was against procedure.
Manjung district religious administrative officer Azizan Ismail said he was asked to sign a new list drawn up by a PAS leader but he refused.
He added that new instructions should come from the Perak Malay Customs and Religious Council.
Dr Zambry said religion should not be used as a tool to fulfil the political ambitions of certain quarters.
He added that the government talked about transparency but did not explain to the people what was really happening.
“We also had imams who were from PAS and NGOs,” Dr Zambry said.
“We evaluated them not based on their political inclinations. We appointed them based on whether the community can continue to exist peacefully and be of one heart,” he added.
Nizar, when asked, said he was not aware of the matter.