KUALA LUMPUR: A preacher from the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) has defended comments he made after Indonesian pop group Seventeen met with tragedy when a tsunami tore into their open-air concert.
The original comments by Mr Ahmad Dusuki Abdul Rani have been met with widespread criticism, with many people suggesting online that they were insensitive.
However, Mr Ahmad Dusuki subsequently said he was merely reminding people not to indulge in immoral activities.
When contacted by the Malay Mail on Tuesday (Dec 25), Mr Ahmad Dusuki said he saw nothing wrong with his remarks on social media.
“What I wanted to say was, don't indulge in vice. When you do maksiat (sin), it courts Allah's wrath.”
When asked if he meant the tsunami that hit the Sunda Strait last weekend was due to vice activities, Mr Ahmad Basuki replied: “No”.
“When you are indulging in vice activities, suddenly Allah takes away your life. It is a reminder to all of us to not be involved in vice activities,” he told the Malay Mail.
In an Instagram post on Monday, the deputy chief of PAS' cleric wing in Selangor shared a video of the band's performance before the stage collapsed after the tsunami hit.
He wrote: "Imagine dying in a split second like this… this was what happened to the rock band Seventeen that was performing on the night of the tsunami.”
"Don't engage in vice, vice courts suffering," he added.
He also listed the details of three bank accounts, soliciting donations to his religious school.
Mr Ahmad Basuki’s post attracted more than 56,000 views and more than 2,500 comments.
“This is not the time to shame the dead and their families! Show some empathy to our neighbours! Is it that hard for you?!” wrote Instagram user msyafiqizwan.
“As an Indonesian I am offended by this caption, everyone here is full of sorrow after losing family members. If you don’t know anything, it is better for you to be quiet!” added Instagram user desitaa13.
Three members of the pop band were killed when a tsunami slammed into a stage where they were performing during an open-air concert.
The wife of Seventeen's frontman Riefian Fajarsyah was also killed in the disaster.
On Wednesday, Indonesian authorities warned of "extreme weather and high waves" around the erupting Anak Krakatoa volcano, urging people to stay away from the coast already devastated by a tsunami that killed more than 400 people.