The leader of a local anti-vice vigilante group has announced a nationwide comeback by the end of this month, citing fears that immoral activities have allegedly become worse under the Pakatan Harapan administration.
According to The Malaysian Insight, Badar Squad chief Azhar Mohamad (above) said the signs include a "higher number of cars parked at (budget) hotels" since the group stopped its practice of raiding and taking unwed couples caught in close proximity (khalwat) to the cemetery at night, where they will be counselled.
As part of its comeback, Azhar said, Badar Squad will apply to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to adopt a new name - Badar al-Kubra - with "kubra" meaning big in Arabic.
"We have members, but they still need to be registered. We will hold a ceremony to launch the new squad sometime late in July.
"We will re-register with the ROS again and we are getting legal advice on the matter. We do not want to break any laws," the 46-year-old from Sungai Petani reportedly said.
Since the group has ceased its activities, Azhar said people from the Sungai Petani community had asked him to reactivate the squad because they claimed more and more Muslim teenagers were committing khalwat.
“People came to us crying and asking when we will resume operations. They could not stand seeing youths hugging each other in public places.
“When we were active, Sungai Petani teenagers were not so daring. Yet, after we stopped, these activities are on the rise and they are doing it more openly," he was further quoted by The Malaysian Insight.
Their unauthorised activities first came on the radar in November last year and Azhar at the time reportedly claimed that the Badar Squad had conducted its raids of budget hotels around Kedah for two years.
In April, Azhar and six others were fined RM1,000 each after pleading guilty to joining an illegal organisation, because the original Badar Squad was not registered with the ROS.