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Wary of Sedition, Malaysian State to Bug Mosques

November 05, 2002|From Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's home state will soon install recording devices in mosques to monitor anti-government sermons, an official said Monday.

All mosques in the northern state of Kedah will have voice-recording equipment installed, and video cameras will be placed in venues where imams are suspected of straying from religious texts, said Kedah's chief minister, Syed Razak Syed Zain.

"The objective is to monitor the speeches delivered and to enable the religious department to investigate public complaints that some imams are reading speeches that slam the government," Syed Razak was quoted as saying by the national news agency, Bernama.

Mahathir has accused supporters of an opposition Islamic party in Kedah of twisting religion to turn people against the government.

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