THE Sultan of Selangor has appealed to the people in the state not to let their guard down and to take booster vaccinations to ensure that everyone plays their role to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“I am worried because there are news reports of people who have doubts about taking the booster jabs.

“There is too much misinformation and fake news on social media. People are influenced easily.

“Then there are those who think that all is good and fine because they have been fully vaccinated,” Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah said in an interview.

He advised the people to stay away from “non-essential” gatherings involving large crowds, adding that everyone had to adjust their way of life.

The Sultan said he received weekly updates on the pandemic from the state health department, adding that there were over 9,800 fatalities recorded in the state alone since the start of the outbreak in March last year, with the majority comprising the Malays.

He noted that initially, more than 880 religious (Kafa) teachers, mosque officials and committee members as well as jurunikah (marriage officials) had refused to get vaccinated.

“So I told them, ‘Alright, we will do it at a mosque on a Sunday, and we will provide food and parking.’ But only 200 people turned up and out of the total, 100 people refused (to be vaccinated). I was disappointed, to be honest,” he said.

He warned that they would not be able to continue carrying out their duties if they remained unvaccinated.

“So I gave them about three months to think about it,” he said, adding that most of them were interacting directly with the public, thus putting everyone at risk.

“Now, the situation has improved drastically, only a few are stubborn. Although the vaccine may not offer 100% protection, it helps reduce the severity of the illness,” said Sultan Sharafuddin.

The Ruler said while it was important to have a federal body to streamline various issues pertaining to religion, religious matters were still under the purview of the state.“For instance, the Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) cannot simply make a fatwa.

“They can discuss it, but they have to go back to the Conference of Rulers.

“If the Rulers give their approval, they (MKI) need to go back to the state, and the state will finalise it,” he said, adding that bodies like the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) should not overstep or pre-empt matters pertaining to religion,” he added.