14 July 2007

Wan Muhamad is new Jakim D-G


PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Wan Muhamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, 54, will succeed Datuk Mustafa Abdul Rahman as director-general of the Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

Wan Muhamad, who has been with Jakim for 29 years, will take over from Monday.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, but brought up in Baling, Kedah, the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia graduate was the religious attache at the Malay-sian High Commission in London in 1982. He was appointed Jakim deputy director-general in July 2004.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Prof Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin said it was appropriate for someone from Jakim itself to head the department.

"We do not have plans to get ‘outsiders’ to helm the department and we are comfortable with this arrangement."

He said the government had no plans to upgrade Jakim into a ministry.

On the handling of converts, Abdullah said training for officers would be improved.

"We are doing our best to train our officers and equip them with knowledge and expertise."

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said that religious authorities should be prepared to listen to converts who wanted to leave the faith.

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