The Malaysian government is seeking to prevent Shia Islam from spreading -- despite the country's hosting a 250,000-strong Shia population.
Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi announced on Monday that Shia followers who were only a small community of three camps 10 years ago are now a population of 250,000, including 10 active groups, across Malaysia.
"The development of information technology is among the factors for their growth as the teachings are spreading through a range of social sites,” Radzi said, urging that the Shia movement be rooted out.
He went on to say that eradication measures “involve the Home Ministry, the police, Registrar of Societies, control of publications under the Printing and Publication Act, curbing the production of CDs and DVDs by the Film Censorship Board and monitoring by the Immigration Department.”
Radzi further added that 10 states have barred Shia movement so far, based on anti-Shariah Enactment, while the government’s anti-Shia measures are underway in four states namely Pahang, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak.
In the meantime, in Perak’s city of Ipoh, the Perak Islamic Religious Department arrested two people, among whom a woman doctor for their alleged involvement in Shia movement.
There has been a surge in anti-Shia measures in Malaysia in recent weeks, with the government trying to crack down on Shia followers more than ever.