SHAH ALAM - Students of SMK Seksyen 9 here were caught by surprise by the bright pink-coloured leaflets handed out outside their school yesterday afternoon.
The leaflets, titled Hukum Valentine's Day (Valentine's Day guidelines), were distributed by officials from the Selangor Mufti Department as part of its campaign to deter Muslim youth from taking part in the lovers' celebration.
State mufti assistant chief Mat Jais Kamos said the campaign was aimed at informing young Muslims about the 2006 ruling, issued by the state fatwa council, forbidding them from taking part in Valen- tine's Day celebrations.
"We do not want our youth to get caught up in Valentine's Day, as it emphasises the relationship between two individuals rather than the love between family members or married couples."
The leaflets caused much amusement among the students, who giggled after receiving them.
Most said they were aware of the ban against taking part in Valentine's Day-related celebrations and the reasons behind it.
Mohd Ibrahim Faiq Hussein, 17, who was was surprised by the officials' presence, said he never celebrated Valentine's Day.
"I think most of us have been taught in class about why celebrating Valentine's Day is considered haram.
"Seeing them (the officials) talking to students about it was unexpected."
Nadia Amyra Azirudyn, 16 said she did not see the relevance of the campaign as most of her Muslim friends did not celebrate Valen- tine's Day.
"I suppose this campaign is helpful to those who want to know why we should not take part."
Suhaidi Subeli, 16, said the campaign could be more effective if religious ceramah or special classes were held on the subject.
"The leaflets are informative but I think students will learn more in the classroom, especially if the teachers are engaging," he said.
He added that Valentine's Day was usually celebrated among non-Muslim students at the school.
It was learnt that the leaflets will be distributed to students at Universiti Teknologi Mara here today.
Meanwhile, those who are celebrating the occasion will need to dig deeper into their pockets as the price of roses has skyrocketed from RM120 a dozen to RM189.
Florists said the higher prices was because this year's Valentine's Day fell on Chap Goh Meh.