By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Sept 2: Religious issues are best left to religious scholars to deliberate on, opined a political analyst from the University of Malaya Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi.
He said it would not be proper for religious issues to be discussed and debated in public as it could cause tension among the people.
“In regards to the current misunderstanding created by Pasir Puteh MP Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh in Parliament recently, it would be best for such issues to be discussed by top scholars from both sides.
“To me, that would the best way to discuss such a sensitive issue,” said Awang Azman when contacted by DayakDaily today.
Awang Azman, who is an expert in Malay Studies, pointed out that for the Muslims they can get their best scholars from Al-Azhar University and the Christians can get their scholars from Rome or Oxford to discuss such matters dear to both religions.
“What better ways to discuss religions than the experts and scholars? Otherwise, if it is left to the laymen and half-cocked scholars, there will be no ending,” he stressed.
Nik Muhammad Zawawi of Pas recently caused anger among Christians in the country as he stated in Parliament that the contents of the Bible had been distorted from the original text.
He subsequently refused to apologise and added that Christians should not feel offended by his remarks.
On a related issue, Awang Azman said that the perception created by the opposition that voting for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) would be tantamount to voting for Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (Pas) was true to a certain extent.
“At the federal level, because GPS supports the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin under PN Plus formula and they are not part of Perikatan Nasional (PN). So, the analogy is like ‘They may sleep in the same bed but they dream differently’,” he said.
When asked whether GPS’ support will be affected by the current issue, Awang Azman thinks otherwise.
“At the federal level, there may be some levels of cooperation. But at the state level and especially in the upcoming state election, GPS will definitely rebut all issues brought up by the opposition including Pas.
“After all, Pas has been in Sarawak for quite a long time but it is not accepted by the people, even by the Malays, in terms of seats” he added. — DayakDaily