Umno is using this issue as a diversion, but it is a case of ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’, says PAS’s Dzulkefly Ahmad.
PETALING JAYA: The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) is just an attempt by Umno to divert the Malays’ attention from the price hikes that await them this year, claimed Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
“Umno thru Jais is arresting the Bible Society of Msia chairman is desperately diverting d Malay mind from the rising costs of living! Won’t work,” wrote PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday.
“Nothing is sacrosanct to Umno as they attack Hindus, Christians, [Syiah], Buddhists & Taoists to distract d Malays from Umno’s misgovernance,” he continued.
Yesterday, Jais raided the BSM office in Damansara Kim and seized some 300 of the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban. The society’s president, Lee Min Choon, and its manager, Sinclair Wong, were also detained until 4pm.
The raid came only two days after a protest against price hikes that was reportedly dominated by Malays, a turn of events that had stumped Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia given that Malays are viewed as their traditional vote bank.
“The actions and way of thinking of the Malays are very confusing,” Awang Selamat, the pseudonym for the collective editors of the newspaper, had written yesterday.
But despite Umno’s alleged divisionary tactics through Jais, which has successfully dominated headlines since yesterday, PAS central working committee Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said it was a case of “out of the frying pan and into the fire”.
“Their technique of shifting attention from the price hikes to this bible issue does not work. They are focusing on the wrong issue, because the ‘Allah’ issue is already extremely grievous and serious.
“So focusing on this will exacerbate the already fractured social fabric of society, and no one should try to deepen the religious divide for whatever reason. It is also a great disservice to Islam,” he added.
But Dr Dzulkefly told FMT he was optimistic such tactics would not gain much traction in Malaysia, as he believed the nation would not give in to religious bigotry.
Utusan Malaysia had added fuel to the fire today by saying Jais was correct in raiding the offices of BSM as the Christian leaders were stubborn and intent on spreading their teachings to Muslims.
“There are certain quarters who are furious at the acts of other parties who are seen as challenging the patience of Muslim followers,” Awang had said in his column today.