KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia on Tuesday will officially launch a free-to-air Islamic television channel to propagate the religion and provide family education based on religious teachings.
The TV Al Hijrah television channel will also open up more opportunities for those in the creative industry, according to Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, head of the country’s Islamic Development Department (JAKIM), which will operate the channel.
The channel, which has been broadcasting since early last month, features programmes on religious discourses on family life, a wellness talk show as well as children’s cartoons based on Islamic teachings, according to its website.
“JAKIM hopes that through cooperation from missionaries and arts activists, the station will emerge as the top Islamic propagation station in the region,” Wan Mohamad told state media late Monday.
The channel will be formally launched by Prime Minister Najib Razak at a ceremony later Tuesday, the first day of the Muslim calendar.
“Station operators and producers cannot assume that only Western shows are of quality and should be the benchmark for production of programmes,”he added.
Minister in charge of Islamic affairs Jamil Khir Baharom has said Islamic programmes make up just 10 to 18 percent of local television programming and that the new channel would appeal to Muslims and non-Muslims.
About 60 percent of Malaysia’s 28 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims while the country’s minority Chinese and Indians are mostly Buddhists, Hindus or Christians.