KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 (Bernama) — The Government Thursday explained its hesitancy in arresting Ariffin Mohamed or Ayah Pin and the estimated 600 members of the deviant sect he leads.
Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Noh Omar told the Dewan Rakyat that the Government could not detain Ayah Pin and his followers under the Internal Security Act (ISA) because their activities did not jeopardise national security.
He also said that police could not arrest them because they had not committed any crime.
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Replying to a question from Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin (BN-Parit Buntar), Noh said action could only be taken against Ayah Pin and his followers under the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Offences (Takzir) Enactment.
Ayah Pin, 65, had established a commune dubbed “Sky Kingdom” in Hulu Besut, Terengganu. In July, arsonists attacked the commune and Ayah Pin and some of his followers have gone into hiding since.
Abdul Hamid had cautioned that unless firm action was taken in containing the deviant teachings of Ayah Pin, it would spread throughout the country and threaten national security.
He pointed out that it took the Government 26 years to contain the Al-Arqam movement but there were still attempts to revive the sect.
Noh said only three states — Terengganu, Selangor and Melaka — had gazetted Ayah Pin’s teachings as deviant and it would be difficult to take any action if the teachings were detected in the other states.
He also said that Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) had reported identifying 98 deviant teachings in the country, of which 25 were still existent.