DAP’s Howard Lee apologises for Quran-quoting clip

IPOH Timor MP Howard Lee Chuan How has issued an apology for allegedly coming up with his own interpretation of Quran verses to call Muslims to support the unity government in his TikTok video.

Lee, who was speaking at a press conference in Pengkalan, Ipoh after having his statement recorded by the police at the Perak Contingent Police Headquarters earlier this afternoon, said the apology took into account the recommendation of UMNO secretary-general Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi.

On Sunday (Sept 24), Asyraf, in a Facebook post, said he had since advised Lee not to use Quranic verses in the future when discussing politics as it can be misinterpreted for political purposes.

When asked if the apology was made only after having his statement recorded despite the fact that the police report against him was lodged last week, Lee said that he only had the opportunity to have his statement taken by the police today because he had just returned to Malaysia after attending the 78th UN General Assembly in New York.

During the press conference, Lee went on to defend himself against the allegations of misinterpreting Quranic verses for political purposes, stressing that he had in fact consulted with experts on the subject matter.

“Not only did I do my own research but I also sat down with religious people and had consultations with various religious people and ustazs,” he remarked while also denying that he had interpreting the Quran as he had merely quoted from the holy book.

“I use the term ‘quoting’ because the accusation is that I was interpreting. I was not interpreting; I was just quoting that sentence.”

The TikTok video had generated stinging comments on the DAP leader on social media as well as from PAS leaders, many of whom reminded Lee not to interpret the Quran without having the necessary qualification.

Among those who had hurled brickbats at Lee included the Central PAS Ulama Council (DUPP), who had urged the DAP man to apologise for expressing misleading and inappropriate views regarding the interpretations of Quranic verses.

According to DUPP chief Datuk Ahmad Yahaya, Quranic verses should not be loosely and carelessly interpreted even though it was not wrong for non-Muslims to appreciate the verses.

Similarly, Perak PAS Youth chief Mohd Hafez Sabri described Lee as disrespectful and attempting to provoke when the DAP MP became an interpreter of the Quran, allegedly distorting the interpretation of verse 59 of Surah An-Nisa.

Calling Lee’s interpretation of the verse “shallow”, Hafez, who is the Manjoi assemblyman, said the interpretation also contained extreme provocation against the sanctity of Islam.

“Lee elaborated on his arguments based on Quranic evidence so that PAS would follow the ‘ulil amri’ (those in authority), which he purportedly equated to the current government.

“However, what is his credibility and qualification to interpret the Quranic verse when he is not a Quranic expert?” he said. – Sept 26, 2023


Main pic credit: Harian Metro

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