PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network) - While declining to comment on the Johor Sultan's decree that bans him from preaching in the state of Johor, preacher Haslin Baharim says he wants to meet the state's Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman to "discuss the matter".
Haslin, who is also known as Ustaz Bollywood, denies his sermons caused discord between Muslims and non-Muslims.
"I will try to meet Abd Mutalip Abd Rahim and present my case. It does not matter if I am still banned from giving ceramah in Johor... I need to explain and clear my name," he said, referring to the state's Religious Affairs Committee chairman.
Abd Mutalip had announced the decree from Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar on Wednesday (Nov 1).
Apart from Haslin, the grand mufti of Zimbabwe Ismail Menk was also banned from giving religious talks in Johor.
Abd Mutalip said the directive was issued following feedback and views that religious lectures by the duo could create social disharmony in multiracial and multi-religious Malaysia.
"The contents of the religious lectures made in the past by the two preachers are found to have elements which could stir racial disharmony," said Abd Mutalip.
He said the Johor Islamic Religious Department would continue to monitor Islamic religious lectures in the state to ensure they did not have negative elements or views which could promote racial disharmony.
Last month (October), Johor Sultan Ibrahim ordered the department to stop dealing with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), in response to remarks by its controversial preacher Zamihan Mat Zin.
Zamihan had criticised the Johor Ruler for his decision to stop a laundrette's Muslims-only policy during a religious talk held at the Tengku Ampuan Jemaah mosque in Bukit Jelutong on Oct 8.
On Monday, Singapore barred Haslin and Ismail from entering and preaching in the country as their hardline and divisive teachings run counter to Singapore's multicultural and multi-religious values.
Ismail has asserted that it is blasphemous and "the biggest sin" for Muslims to wish non-Muslims "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Deepavali".
Haslin Bhas advocated that in multi-cultural and multi-religious societies, non-Muslims should be made subservient to Muslims.
Both men were engaged to preach on a religious-themed cruise departing from Singapore on Nov 25 and returning on Nov 29, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Monday. It added that the decision to bar them was made in consultation with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), the Singapore Tourism Board and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Tuesday Malaysia would not be following Singapore's move.
Datuk Seri Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the country will not stop the two preachers from speaking in public as the duo had so far not caused any tensions among Malaysia's various religions or ethnic groups.