Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has been dealt a major blow after the Selangor sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah today said that the syura (consultative) council announced yesterday was redundant.
In a statement from the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) signed by the sultan's private secretary Mohamad Munir Bani, it was clarified that the sultan had NEVER recommended that the syura council be established.
It was also explained that the sultan had only advised that in addition to Khalid and the state mufti Tamyes Abdul Wahid, the Selangor deputy mufti Abdul Majid Omar also be included in a meeting with the church.
Mohamad Munir said that the sultan was subsequently "shocked" upon hearing of news reports that the council was established on the his advice, and had expressed his wish to clarify that were NOT true.
"The sultan's position on the syura council or the setting up of inter-religious dialogue (is that), they were never assented to as the state already has the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais), Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) and the Selangor Mufti Department," said Mohamad Munir.
Yesterday, Khalid announced the establishment of the council to "resolve" the controversy which had emerged from a Jais raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC), accused of proselytising Muslims.
Khalid had in a statement said that the idea to form the syura council came from the Selangor sultan when they discussed the matter last week.
"I appreciate His Highness' advice regarding how best to resolve this matter satisfactorily,” Khalid said in a statement.
The controversy surrounding the Aug 3 raid by Jais has backed the state government into a corner, as Khalid's administration maintained its silence amidst brickbats from Christian groups and BN leaders.
Christians leaders and NGOs slammed Jais for allegedly carrying out an unlawful raid on the DUMC premises, while BN leaders chastised the state government for failing to control a department that is under its administration.
Jais, however, have denied that it conducted a raid, saying they did not barge in on the dinner and merely questioned a group of Muslims who attended the event on suspicion that they were being proselytised.