Muslims in Segamat, Johor need to be extra cautious this Ramadan. The local government has enlisted the help of spies to weed out Muslims who don’t fast.
32 secret officers
The Segamat Municipal Council (MPS) has deployed 32 officers to secretly inspect a total of 185 licensed food stalls and premises with MPS licenses.
Mohd Masni Wakiman, the president of MPS, told NSTP that 2 of these officers were proficient in making roti canai, tea and mee mamak. Most of them would even look the part, as Masni adds:
Not a spy movie
The undercover officers would take the orders and prepare the food for the offenders just like regular waiters and cooks.
But while the alleged perpetrators are happily munching away on their clandestine meal, the officers would sneakily take photos of them chowing down. The local Islamic religious department will be immediately alerted so that the unsuspecting gourmand can be caught prata-in-mouth
Baharin Jalal, a Segamat Qadi or shariah judge, welcomes MPS’ efforts and says that Muslims should not eat during Ramadan.
According to the Shariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1997 of Johor, those caught eating would be fined RM1,000 (S$330), imprisoned not more than six months, or both. The same penalties apply to those selling the food.
Many Malaysians do not welcome this policy on catching non-fasters as they feel the real issue here is misplaced priorities.
For the Muslims from Singapore who are in Malaysia for the Ramadan festivities, fret not. If you’re thinking of having a quick bite for whatever personal reason, be warned: you might not be charged, but you’re bound to have your teh tarik session interrupted.
As for Malaysian Muslims, how’s your Tagalog?
In related news: Should A&W go halal? S’poreans engage in heated discussion