Royal call to give top priority to cleanliness
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam called on enforcement officers to look at cleanliness not only physically but also from the perspective of Syariah laws to determine which eating places are suitable for Muslims and which are not.

In delivering his titah last night to mark Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) birthday today, His Majesty said not only is the Prophet a leader to show us the right path but also a guide towards clean and healthy living.

"In this era of progress, efforts to achieve the maximum level of cleanliness should be undertaken earnestly, particularly when we are facing a threatening epidemic. Not only does Islam label 'cleanliness' in health and safety aspects but far beyond that, it is also part of the faith.

"Allah also relates 'love' to cleanliness or purity. The aspect of cleanliness should not be taken lightly but needs to be controlled and managed effectively. It is proven today that epidemics are closely related to the cleanliness factor," the Sultan said.

His Majesty added, wherever there is contamination, there is a potential for an epidemic. In this respect, it is appropriate for us in Brunei to consider cleanliness as a priority.

There are parties that might think that this matter is unimportant and should not be exaggerated, said the ruler. However, in His Majesty's opinion, the issue is of utmost importance and is a pressing social revolutionary criteria.

"Normally, cleanliness is stressed at public places like markets, roads, streets, shopping centres including restaurants and eatery outlets.

"For a country that is considered clean and beautiful, it brings a good image and attracts visitors. I am pleased to note the actions taken by the relevant parties in this matter including the cleanliness aspect at restaurants and eating outlets," said His Majesty.

Speaking on restaurants and eateries, His Majesty said enforcement officers should not only look at the physical cleanliness but also in terms of Syariah laws. This should be fine-tuned and handled properly. This should not be considered unimportant, considering the rapid business development including eating outlets in this country, added the monarch.

This is closely associated with the welfare of the Ummah. Clean eating outlets contribute to health and safety. Cleanliness from the Syariah perspective determines the effectiveness of Muslims when performing religious obligations and their physical development towards a healthy and blessed community, said His Majesty.

"To mark the auspicious occasion, it is appropriate for us to uphold such teachings of Prophet Muhammad, which undoubtedly are a source of blessing and security for all," His Majesty said.

His Majesty said Prophet Muhammad's, fighting spirit contains many aspects, which guide us towards the right path, without which, it will be like a blind man walking without a stick. - Borneo Bulletin (11th Apr 2006)