KUCHING, Aug 28: Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii lamented the lack of sensitivity for other religions from Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh during his debate in Parliament when addressing The Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020, which will see an increase in penalties for those driving under the influence of alcohol.
Dr Yii said that the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) MP made a statement saying that the “kitab injil” or the Bible in Christianity has been “changed” or “distorted” in trying to prove his point that all religions, including Christianity, banned the drinking of alcohol.
“Not only was his understanding of other religions incorrect and flawed, but he resorted to cross the line to insult the Bible which is something that is sacred to the Christian community.
“I feel this is unacceptable and while I respect the rights of anyone to their own opinion, they should not cross the line and insult the religion of others that may cause unnecessary understanding and even tension among the different races and religions in our pluralistic country,” he said in a press statement today.
Dr Yii explained that the reason why he stood up yesterday in the parliament was to raise Standing Order 36(10)(c) to bring to the attention of the Speaker of the insensitive statement made by Pasir Puteh MP, and regrets that the Speaker then did not stop him from making the remark during the debate itself.
Dr Yii said that while he believed that Christians in general would not react or create tension in response to the remark, it was important to set a proper precedent and not let the remark go without proper rectifications.
“That is why I asked the Speaker to make a ruling to compel Pasir Puteh MP to not only retract that statement in Parliament, but also make an open apology not to just Christians all around the country, but also people of other faiths as he should have been responsible not to make any disrespectful comments against any other religion.
“I also wrote in an official letter to the Speaker for him to make a ruling on the matter latest by the next Parliamentary sitting at the end of the year,” he added.
Dr Yii also pointed out that in Malaysia, especially in Sarawak, people live in harmony and tolerance despite its multiracial and multi-religious background due to the respect Sarawakians have for one another.
“I believe political leaders must take the lead and set an example, to promote tolerance instead of division among all races and religions.
“That is why I highly regret that the MP from PAS chose to play on such religious sentiments and thus we all should keep him accountable and demand an apology and for him and others to not make such statements again to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding or tension among our multiracial and multi-religious society,” he said. –DayakDaily.