KUCHING, Aug 21 — The Sarawak government should ban Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin from entering Sarawak, Parti Bumi Kenyalang’s recently elected president Voon Lee Shan said today.
He said religious teachers like Mohd Asri could stir up racial and religious disharmony in Sarawak.
“We don’t want anyone, whoever we define as religious and racial extremists, to come to the state,” he told reporters.
He said they will disrupt peace and harmony in Sarawak with their extreme views on race and religion.
“We don’t want cancer from Malaya to spread to Sarawak,” he said when responding to controversial remarks attributed to Mohd Asri recently.
In a video of a sermon posted on his Facebook page on August 15, the Perlis mufti had said the concept of a dominant race was practiced in places like India, China and even Europe.
He had also defended his remarks on maintaining the political and cultural dominance of the Malays.
Voon, who is also a practising lawyer, said under the federal constitution, there is no provision to force the culture and customs of another race on any other person.
“At the same time, it is also not a culture and customs of our people to force one’s culture and customs on others too,” he said, explaining any imposition of one’s culture and religion against the will of others is unconstitutional under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which states that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the protection of the law.
He added Article 160 recognises customs and usages and when it is not a custom to force someone to adopt someone’s religious beliefs, customs and cultures any imposition of them against others is unconstitutional.
He said the call by the Perlis mufti suggesting the preservation of Malay’s culture and political dominance over others is uncalled for by a religious leader of his standing in the federation.
“He should not call the authorities to get the Malay race to dominate others because customs practised by other races is protected under the federal constitution.
“In fact, the call by the mufti to have the Malay race and culture to dominate others is bordering on sedition, especially, against the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak,” Voon said, adding that the call is dangerous to racial harmony and peaceful practice of one’s culture and traditions.