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Monday, May 3, 2021

Siti denies breaching rules by inviting T'erengganu-based preacher as guest


Singer Siti Nurhaliza has denied allegations that she and her husband had brought an out-of-state preacher to their home in Kuala Lumpur for a tahnik ceremony on April 26.

In a statement, Siti said the preacher happened to be in Kuala Lumpur at the time and thus he was invited.

Siti assured that the number of guests at the event was limited due to conditional movement control order (MCO) restrictions.

"The event was split into three sessions. It was attended by close family members and a nasyid group," she said.

Terengganu-based preacher Azhar Idrus has admitted yesterday that he was at Siti's house for the tahnik ceremony at the invitation of her husband Khalid Mohamad Jiwa.

Azhar explained that he was at his mother-in-law's home, which is nearby, and accepted Khalid's invitation.

"When our friends ask us to pray for their child, can we? Is it in the rules that we can't pray for our friend's child?

"Is it in the rules that if we are in Kuala Lumpur, we can't visit our friends? No. My mother-in-law's house is just behind their house," he said.

Azhar's admission was captured in a video clip that has since been posted online. It is uncertain where it was recorded, but the wall clock suggested that he spoke yesterday.

Azhar is a very popular preacher, known for his humour, photography, and guitar skills. He had at least two speaking engagements in the Klang Valley on April 25 and 26.

Meanwhile, Siti clarified that Islamic Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri's presence at her home on that day was not a "special event".

She said that Zulkifli was only at her home for prayer and the tahnik ceremony and left shortly after.

Siti said that she respected the law and hoped that her explanation would bring clarity as there are people who misunderstood what happened.

"We also wish to apologise if anyone feels uncomfortable. We accept all criticisms.

"We will also cooperate with the authorities if needed," she said.

The tahnik ceremony for Siti and Khalid's second child had been heavily criticised by netizens, ostensibly for double standards in the enforcement of rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The discontent was especially pronounced after petty traders in Kelantan were fined RM50,000 for operating after hours, while actress Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor was fined RM10,000 for breaching the condition on crossing state borders. - Mkini

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