‘Not a peep from PM over Wajdi’s Islamic state statement yet’

Dr Kelvin Yii speaks at a Pakatan Harapan 'ceramah'. — DayakDaily.com file pic

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KUCHING, Oct 20: State DAP pointed out that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has kept silent about the statement made by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki who asserted that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government was committed into turning Malaysia into an Islamic state.

“The reality is, since the proclamation made by the Deputy Minister (Wadji), Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is the head of the BN government and supposedly the leader of a multicultural and multi-religious nation, has remained silent on the matter including many other incidents that have incited division and discrimination among different races and religion.

“Even the (Malaysian) Royalty has to step in and made a good statement to promote religious tolerance in the midst of the silence from our elected government,” said Dr Kelvin Yii, the special assistant to state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen in a statement today.

He said the best way to preserve the secular nature and religious and racial harmony in Sarawak was to reject the very ruling government that is promoting sentiments such as that proclaimed by Wajdi.

“Such proclamation is not only contrary to the spirit of the Federal Constitution, but speaks volumes of the intention of the ruling Barisan Nasional government who seems to have no qualms to interpret the constitution to their own whims and fancies for their own political gain, even at the expense of the multicultural and multi-religious community that we all live in.”

Dr Yii was responding to Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and its Public Complaints Bureau chief Wilfred Yap’s recent statement which claimed that Sarawakians should stop the infiltration of extremism into the state that will affect the freedom of religion practised here and that it was former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who brought up the issue of Islamic state in the past.

“As much as we see the need to preserve and promote our multiculturalism and safeguard our people from the influence of extremism, it is hypocritical and paradoxical for SUPP to talk about such things while supporting the empowering of the ruling UMNO-Barisan Nasional government that continuously plays on racial and religious sentiments including cozying up with the Islamic agenda of PAS.

“We in DAP, stuck to our principles that when PAS went against the common agreement framework to push their hudud agenda, we broke our alliance then as Pakatan Rakyat and formed Pakatan Harapan (PH) instead,” said Dr Yii.

He said even though Tun Dr Mahathir did mention the notion of an Islamic state in 2001 when he was still in UMNO, the reality was that if BN government disagreed with such a notion, they could have made a choice not to promote such a sentiment and agenda again.

“However, it not only shows how they agree with it, but also further promote such an agenda until this day. Blaming Mahathir only points back at them and shows the hypocrisy of SUPP and BN as a whole,” said Dr Yii.

He said currently, the agenda of turning Malaysia into an Islamic state was nowhere in PH’s agenda as the opposition coalition is focused on issues to help address the economy and livelihood of the people.

“The fact is, it was Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) and Tun Mahathir who approached us to be part of PH and thus joined us on our terms and agreed to our reform agenda including the reformation of the different governmental institutions.

“Thus, such sentiment is definitely not and will not be on our agenda as there is consensus leadership in PH, unlike UMNO- BN.”

He said SUPP and BN Sarawak had to break out from the bubble and realise that what happens in West Malaysia will affect Sarawakians, and their continual support and empowerment of UMNO-BN not only threatens the harmonious social fabric of the state, but also had cost and burdened her people economically.

“The best way to protect the state is to reject such a government and vote for a new government that promotes the welfare and well-being of all its people,” said Dr Yii.

Wajdi had said recently that development of Islam in the country which was being strengthened from time to time was a clear signal that the BN government has not been shirking its responsibility to make Malaysia an Islamic state.

He also said the development of Islam in Malaysia over the last 60 years was apparent to the people and also other nations since Malaysia achieved independence and that this was possible because of the wisdom of BN which is led by UMNO.

“Efforts by the government to uphold Islam can be seen in the Constitution which has placed Islam as the religion of the federation,” he said when appearing as a panelist on the Kelantan-level “Bicara Minda dan Sesi Dialog Perjuangan For All” programme in Johor recently. — DayakDaily.