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Mahathir sets up mosque monitor

Kuala Lumpur, Nov. 4 (AP): The home state of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is setting up recording devices at mosques to deter prayer leaders from delivering anti-government sermons to Muslim congregations, an official said today.

All mosques in the northern state of Kedah will soon be fitted with voice recording equipment, while video cameras would be installed in venues where errant imams are suspected of straying from their religious texts, said Kedah 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.

Kedah, a mostly rural heartland of the Malay Muslim majority, is Mahathir’s birthplace and one of the country’s most keenly watched political battlegrounds.

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