Kedah group told to toe the line of the law and stay away from vigilante activities.
The anti-vice Badar squad has been warned by police to stay within the confines of the law and keep away from vigilante activities.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Mazlan Mansor said this after the religious vigilante group’s founder Azhar Mohamad stated that the group would be reactivated and expand its operations nationwide.
Azhar told The Malaysian Insight yesterday that the Badar Squad had been asked by many people to resume operations.
Previously, in an interview with Malaysiakini, Azhar said the group would make an appearance once more, this time, under the name Skuad Badar al-Qubra.
The group is reportedly in the midst of registering the organisation with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
Skuad Badar’s activities had come to a halt in January after Azhar was arrested by the police.
“We would like to advise the group not to act in any way that is against the law because they are not a legitimate religious enforcement body and do not have any power to conduct religious raids,” Mazlan said in a statement Thursday (July 4).
He added that any group that is not registered with the RoS is an illegal organisation and appropriate action will be taken against them.
Azhar, 46, and several Badar squad members were arrested at the squad’s office in January after a Kedah Islamic Religious Affairs Department officer lodged a police report against the vigilante group.
The vigilante squad had allegedly conducted enforcement activities without permission from the department.
The squad also did not have any search warrant to enter premises to conduct checks.
In April, Azhar and six others were fined RM1,000 each after pleading guilty to joining an illegal organisation, as the Badar Squad had not been registered with the RoS.
The controversial Badar squad members had been carrying out raids on budget hotels in Sungai Petani for the last two years prior to the arrests.
Those caught committing khalwat would be taken to a cemetery, where they were given counselling.