Sabah Establishes Islamic Affairs Coordination Committee

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has established the Sabah Islamic Affairs Coordination Committee (JaPHEIS) to coordinate programmes and policies related to Islam in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor hoped that JaPHEIS will refrain from taking any extreme approach that may create anxiety among Sabah’s multi-racial and multi-religious communities.

“We need to be mindful of the fact that Malaysia is a plural country that always prioritises moderation and harmony, which is also in line with the Fiqh Sabahi (methodology on preaching) concept practised in Sabah,” he said in a statement after the presentation of appointment letters to JaPHEIS committee members at the State Administrative Centre here today.

He hoped JaPHEIS would assist in empowering Islamic education, strengthening community unity, as well as developing the Muslim community through the zakat and wakaf institution and halal hub.

“Among the Halatuju Sabah Maju Jaya thrusts is the emphasis on human capital. In this respect, I hope the development of a human capital pool that is knowledgeable and skilled will be a focus of this committee,” he said.

The establishment of JaPHEIS was decided by the state Cabinet in December last year and the 19-member committee is chaired by Sabah Special Tasks Minister Datuk Arifin Mohd Arif.

Among its functions would be to act as the official government platform to discuss, consider and manage Islamic affairs matters referred to the state by the National Council for Islamic Affairs and National Islamic Affairs Committee Chairmen Conference Committee.

It would also act as the adviser on Islamic affairs to the Chief Minister.

Among the committee members are Sabah Mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar, Sabah Syarie Chief Judge Alidin @ Ahmad Din Othman, Sabah Islamic Affairs Department director Datuk Saifulzaman Sangul, JAKIM Sabah director Norjeli Dais, Sabah Commissioner of Police Datuk Hazani Ghazali and Malaysian Infantry Fifth Division Commander Major General Datuk Mohd Halim Khalid.