KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen is no longer a member of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry’s consultative council.
In a brief statement today, the ministry said his departure will not affect the functions of the council, which was formed on June 9.
“The council will continue its role in discussing and advising the ministry in its approach and policies for communication and multimedia issues in line with the objectives of the ministry,” the statement issued by the ministry’s corporate communications unit said.
The statement did not specify if Paulsen had resigned or been removed but it is believed that Paulsen’s exit was attributed to his alleged anti-Islam views.
Yesterday, Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki accused Paulsen of being known for statements that allegedly insulted Islam and Muslims as a whole and urged Saifuddin to clarify the basis of Paulsen's appointment.
Similarly, Pasir Mas MP and deputy PAS Youth chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari also urged Muslims to oppose the appointment of Paulsen as a member of the council.
It was reported yesterday that Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin claimed that he was unaware of Paulsen's appointment as a member of the council.
Zahidi claimed that Saifuddin had decided on Paulsen's appointment without prior consultation, Malaysiakini reported.
Aside from PAS and Umno, calls against Paulsen's new role were also made by Saifuddin's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) counterparts.
Bersatu supreme council member Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen also echoed attacks against Paulsen's allegedly extremist views that purportedly insulted Islam.