DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook could be enduring sleepless night after Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah ticked off four-term Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham by reminding non-Muslims to show respect and refrain from interfering in matters related to Islamic affairs in the country.
Such reminder cannot be timelier as fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamrudin (RPK) has cheekily mooted a counter-proposal that “perhaps it makes valid sense for the Islamic Centre to have representatives in the Council of Churches so that the non-Muslim representatives can sit in the Syariah Committee” in response to the Perak DAP chairman.
“For fairness and justice, there must also be a Muslim representative in Dong Zong (spokesman for Chinese Education in Malaysia),” so quipped a netizen on RPK’s mouthpiece Malaysia Today.
Recall that Ngeh who is also the Sitiawan state assemblyman had on Thursday (Dec 29) advised the unity government to appoint experts from non-Muslim communities to assist the Special Committee to Study the Competence of the State Legislative Assembly in Enacting Islamic Laws established earlier this month.
His rationale is to enable the perspectives of non-Muslims to be given due consideration before any changes is made to the law.
To put out the fire started by Ngeh, Loke – short of issuing an apology – acknowledged that he is well-aware that Ngeh’s statement will raise controversy that DAP is trying to meddle in the country’s Islamic affairs.
“This is not true at all.as DAP respects the wisdom of DYMM Tuanku Sultan Selangor in making any decisions regarding MKI (National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs) matters (in his capacity as chairman),” contended Loke who is also the Transport Minister in a media statement.
“Non-Muslim society also doesn’t have to worry about this matter because in case of any amendments to the law involving their rights, this has to be further scrutinised and consented first by the Cabinet as per the usual process of legal enactments.”
Enough is enough
Reacting to Loke’s statement, netizen Teoh Yong Chin urged DAP to take firm action against party leaders who incessantly play with racial or religious issues.
“If strict action is not taken against such members, other members may follow suit in the future and this will further escalate wrong perception of DAP,” cautioned the netizen. “The tongue needs to be careful, especially among high-ranking people … The mouth can eat indiscriminately but the tongue shouldn’t be allowed to utter words indiscriminately.”
Echoing Teoh’s view, netizen Lee Ga Shen opined that DAP leaders in the likes of Ngeh “need to be re-evaluated”.
“Don’t be smart or pretending to be clever by issuing unsubstantiated statements as this will give negative perceptions of other religions while inflicting a bad impact on the Chinese and DAP. Such political leaders should be sidelined.”
Netizen Kevin Wing probably took a swipe at retired DAP supremo Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang when he suggested that ‘retired politicians’ “should retire peacefully and not talk too much”.
“Let the Cabinet handle important issues. If you have time to spare, visit your surrounding and take proactive steps to solve the people’s woes instead of always issuing statements or writing articles that do not benefit the country and government.”
To re-cap, the country’s longest serving opposition leader had in recent times sparked a nationwide furore among the Malay-Muslim community with his reiteration that the Federal Constitution does not bar a non-Malay/Muslim to be Malaysia’s Prime Minister although be doubts that this will happen during his life-time or probably that of his great grandchildren.
Interestingly, netizen Lee Jaefer wondered if DAP needs to do self-reflection for its “political move is always to test the waters”.
“After every controversial and heavy criticism, (the party will) issue an apology and bury the issue. How long can you play this game? The day will come when you make a terrible mistake and unleash the real power of the Bumiputera,” warned the netizen. – Dec 30, 2023.