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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Muhyiddin Surprised With Nik Aziz's Statement

MELAKA, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday expressed surprise that PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat would not object to DAP leaders hurling insults at Islam.

He said that as a religious figure and head of a state government, Nik Aziz should have come in defence of the religion.

"It is strange for a religious figure to allow others to insult Islam," he told reporters after opening the Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen's Day at the Melaka International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh, here.

Nik Aziz said yesterday that he had no objection to DAP leaders hurling insults at Islam as they were not Islamic and therefore had shallow understanding of the religion.

Muhyiddin, who is Umno deputy president, said hurling insults at religion, either Islam or other religions, should not be condoned as this could undermine the stability, peace and harmony enjoyed by the people all the while.

"In Malaysia, we are able to enjoy peace and stability because we respect one another's culture and religion. We have been doing this for so long.

"We are now into our 52nd year of nationhood and we are where we are today because we respect one another," he said.

Muhyiddin said that if the statement by Nik Aziz could be taken as a decree, then there would be chaos in the country.

"I believe that even if we want to garner support and to become popular, we should not sacrifice our religion. We should instead defend it," he said, adding PAS was not a party which fought for Islam despite its leaders claiming so.

Cautioning the Malays not to listen to PAS leaders, Muhyiddin said, PAS should have advised DAP leaders not to insult the religion.

Meanwhile, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Nik Aziz's inconsistent statement could confuse the people.

"We are worried that (Nik Aziz) seems to be condoning acts of hurling insults at Islam," he told reporters after opening the Setiu Umno delegates' meeting.

Shafie also questioned PAS ability to implement the Hudud law when its own top leaders were inconsistent in their stand pertaining to religious matters.

Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil expressed disappointment over Nik Aziz's statement and said the remark should not be uttered by a leader of a party which claimed to fight for the interest of Islam.

"I am shocked to read the statement. What I know is Muslims should not hurl insults at the religion of others and likewise, non-Muslims should not hurl insults at Islam," she said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur. -- BERNAMA

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