The management of Putra Mosque has been under a barrage of criticisms by netizens for practising preferential treatment following a short video that went viral on social media last Friday (10 September).
The short video showed a group of people, believed to be VIP and his entourage had arrived at the mosque in Putrajaya in luxury vehicles and being ushered through the gates for prayers.
However, the large crowd which had been queuing outside prior the VIP’s arrival had been denied entry into the mosque to perform their Friday prayers. This had led to criticism from netizens that the mosque officials had been practicing double standards.
The person who was recording the video can also be heard expressing his disappointment, saying the crowd have been waiting outside the mosque since 12.15 p.m., while the VIPs who just arrived had jumped the queue.
The management of Putra Mosque had then responded to the criticisms and have denied the accusations of practising preferential treatments, stressing that there is no double standards in allowing congregants to join Friday prayers.
The management said that they had allowed the person entered the mosque as it was in accordance to their guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs), which they have implemented a quota system for Friday prayers as part of their Covid-19 preventative measures.
Under the quota system, the Mosque allows only 300 people in a single prayer session, and this includes a quota for permanent congregants who have registered earlier.
“The mosque management also has an allocation for regular congregants who have registered earlier and declared their estimated time of arrival to ensure the number of attendees meets the quota.” they said.
The management said the number of congregants at the mosque for Friday prayers normally exceed the current limit by 11 a.m. and they have informed the congregants who were queuing at the main gate that the quota for the day has reached.
Nonetheless, the management said they will do their best to provide the best services to its congregants, and promised to improve the quality of management.
The incident had alerted the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Ahmad Marzuk Shaary and he promise to probe the said VIP.
“There should be no special treatment even to VIP and I would like to stress here that the ‘elite (kayangan) cluster’ does not exist in mosques,” he said, adding that the mosque management should use their discretion and not submit to the whim of certain groups or individuals.
According to the deputy minister, they will wait for an explanation on the matter by the mosque.