Siti Kasim lambasts ex-religious minister’s call for cabbies to decline sending passengers to ‘vice dens’

ADVICE proffered by former religious affairs minister Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri on e-hailing drivers to avoid accepting fares to ferry passengers to places of vice has not gone down well.

He made the statements in response to a question from a netizen regarding the ruling on e-hailing services and receiving bookings to transport customers to entertainment centres associated with the exposure of aurat (parts of the body that cannot be exposed or should be covered according to Islam), alcohol and similar activities.

Source: The Sun

“If they can politely decline without affecting their livelihood, they should do so,” explained Zulkifli.

He further said that when it is extremely difficult to find a job, it is permissible and may Allah SWT forgive their ‘slip’. However, he added, these drivers must allocate a portion of their earnings from these fares and channel it to the benefit and welfare of the Muslim community.

The proclamation provoked a stinging rebuke from social activist and lawyer Siti Kasim who questioned on her Facebook page why place the onus on e-hailing drivers who are already having a hard time to decide if a ride was permissible or not?

Citing Quranic verses, the outspoken lawyer claimed that the advice proffered was incorrect.

“Why do we have these kinds of people making statements as if the drivers will be carrying their passengers’ sins? There is no such thing in the Quran. Surely, he would know verses 35:18 and 6:164 of the Quran,” she lamented.

“To be a Muslim in Malaysia is not easy. Every aspect of your life is being monitored, dictated and governed by these lot who think they hold the key to heaven. They have plenty to tell us on what to do and what not to do but will they be answering God with us when the time comes? I don’t think so. 🙄

Many of the comments observed the encroaching religious conservatism in all spheres of Malaysian life.

Another demanded to know what gives these figures the right to dictate how people live their lives, in this case earn a living. Though to be fair, the former senator was responding to a query on this specific subject rather than making a decree.

One netizen pointed out that many e-hailing riders also delivered non-halal foods. What was the difference there?

One surmised that these utterances were just a ploy by the uztaz with a Perikatan Nasional (PN)-slant to attract some publicity.

One netizen summed up the prevailing sentiment of comments on the legal eagle’s Facebook page with a damning indictment that it was a recipe for ‘enslavement’.

This episode highlights a few issues.

Firstly, as pointed out by Siti Kasim, it is unfair to place the onus on the e-hailing drivers. One cannot be sure what passengers are up to, whether at a night club or private residence. Furthermore, it is none of the drivers’ business.

Secondly, this is yet another clear attempt to create schisms in an already divided society by creating ‘us and them’ scenarios. Such grandstanding only encourages people to get on their high horse which is unhelpful.

Thirdly, by suggesting that Muslim drivers are complicit in sinful activities only creates further resentment and will lead to more calls for a total ban on entertainment centres.

Fourth but not least, is it preferable for the inebriated to drive themselves rather than take a cab home?

What next?

Will e-hailing drivers be asked to stop ferrying kafir passengers to their places of worship? Yes, ridiculous, isn’t it? – Focus Malaysia

Siti Kasim lambasts ex-religious minister’s call for cabbies to decline sending passengers to ‘vice dens’