Thirty-two enforcement officers in the Malaysian district of Segamat are dressing up as cooks and waiters to catch Muslims eating during the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims are required to fast from dawn until dusk during Islam’s holiest month unless there are special circumstances such as illness.
Segamat Municipal Council (MPS) president Mohamad Masni Wakiman said the council was working with the Segamat Islamic Religious Department to track down those not fasting and enjoying food, especially at stalls under the MPS’ supervision. The team in Segamat district, in southern Johor state, will be monitoring 185 outlets, with two of the officers selected as they are good at making popular dishes such as spicy fried noodles.
Mohamad Masni Wakiman said:
“We have specially selected enforcement officers who are dark skinned for the undercover job. They sound convincing when they speak in Indonesian and Pakistani lingo so that customers will believe they are really hired to cook and serve meals and take menu orders.”
If Muslims are seen ordering food during the daytime, the officers will secretly take pictures of them and contact the local religious affairs department for further action, Masni said.
Sisters in Islam, a group promoting the rights of Muslim women in Malaysia, said that the plan was shameful and gives the wrong impression of Islam in the eyes of fellow Muslims and people from other faiths saying, “We strongly demand that all parties cease this disgraceful act of spying.”
Despite MPS’ own president being previously quoted that officials are disguising themselves to spy on fasting Muslims, MPS suddenly denied this incident on May 23.
The council said:
“MPS has never conducted any operation in disguise to spy on Muslim individuals who are not fasting during the month of Ramadan as stated. Such a move is beyond the jurisdiction of MPS.”
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