KOTA KINABALU: The decision to restrict or prohibit Muslim participation in the Bon Odori festival should not be made in a hurry, said former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
“Let us celebrate diversity and not make reckless decisions,” he said in his latest Facebook posting.
In this respect, he supported the call by Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for the state Islamic religious department (Jais) to allow the festival, scheduled to be held at Shah Alam on July 16, to proceed.
The former Communications and Multimedia Minister also urged officers from Jais and the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) to attend the festival to see for themselves what it was all about.
Earlier, religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad had advised Muslims not to take part in the festival which he claimed was “influenced by elements of other religions”, following research by Jakim, the Islamic development department.
The festival showcases Japanese culture and includes drum performances and the Bon Odori dance.