KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — Islamist party PAS lambasted Dong Zong today for allegedly behaving unethically in a multi-ethnic society, ahead of the Chinese Organisations Joint Conference that the Chinese educationists’ group is co-organising with Jiao Zong.
However, its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang also warned the ethnic Chinese group to remember that its members are living in “a Malay world”, and therefore should not overstep its purported boundaries.
“This is not about the government’s soft tone against them, but their attitude. They understand, but they act as if they don’t get which world they are living in.
“Is it a Malay world or Chinese world or the media world? They should understand which world they’re living in,” the Marang MP was quoted as saying by Malay daily Sinar Harian.
Hadi’s remarks come even as PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the party is ready to hold a dialogue with Dong Jiao Zong together with Barisan Nasional component member, MCA, in a bid to defuse tension and seek an amicable solution.
On the other hand, the head of PAS’ ulama wing Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh labelled Dong Jiao Zong as “anti-national” and a racist organisation for planning this weekend’s protest against the teaching of the jawi script in vernacular schools.
In an open letter, PAS information chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad had also urged the Home Ministry to ban Dong Zong.
Despite that, Hadi insisted that his remarks were not directed at the Chinese community, but just Dong Zong.
Hadi also accused Dong Zong of disrespecting “native residents” here, and being ungrateful to “those who allow them to stay here”.
“They have overstepped their boundaries and we hope they will change. If they don’t, it will become fiery,” he reportedly said, adding that it is possible for others in the Chinese community to live peacefully here.
Around 1,000 people are expected to attend the event tomorrow, from representatives of school boards, parent-teachers associations and alumni associations, to those from the Malay and ethnic Indian communities.
The organisation’s refusal to heed advice that it cancel its conference has caused concern that tensions could escalate, as more conservative and hardline Muslim groups threaten reprisals.