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Perak mufti says 'idolatrous' Tugu Negara a big sin

If building a monument in the image of animals is proscribed, what more when it involves human forms like the Tugu Negara (National Monument), stressed Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria.

He explained that building monuments in the shape of humans was haram in Islam as in the hereafter, God would ask those responsible to give life to their creations.

Other than saying that it was a "big sin" to build monuments featuring the human form, Harussani believed that the Tugu Negara beautification project with such a huge allocation, was a waste of taxpayers' funds.

He told Malaysiakini that it became a bigger sin when people were invited to hold ceremonies at the National Monument as it bordered on idolatry or idol worship.

"From the beginning, we did not agree (with the National Monument's construction) as we are an Islamic country. Why are we worshiping monuments?

"In any case, monuments in human form are proscribed," he said.

Harussani said that the monies would have been better spent on improving the lot of the rakyat.

"Allocating RM650 million is a waste. It should have been used to improve the quality of life for the rakyat, which is more prudent than using it to beautify the monument so that people will come to worship it.

"There are a lot of poor people in the country. If the same amount was used for housing and to develop vacant land, it would be more beneficial towards improving the life of the rakyat," he said.

Yesterday Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced the allocation of RM650 million to beautify the 66-acre park around the National Monument.

Much of the cost, RM500 million, will be borne by government investment arm Khazanah Nasional.

The mini-tropical forest, smack in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, is slated to be an iconic landmark in the city, with the first phase due to be completed in mid-2018.

The project was launched just as Harussani's deputy Zamri Hashim commented that it was against Islamic precepts to portray forms of living beings in monuments. Though his target was allegedly the monument on Langkawi Island, featuring the figure of an eagle.

Malaysiakini previously reported Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin explaining that the National Fatwa Council has decided that the act of saluting the National Monument, was proscribed in Islam.

"That is why the Raja of Perlis never did that when he was Agong last time," said Mohd Asri.

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