KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — DAP leader Lim Kit Siang admitted today that he misconstrued PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s statement that only “Allah’s government” would succeed in stemming the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hadi was reported to have said only Allah can quash the disease because the coronavirus was meant to be a test for humanity.
The Iskandar Puteri Member of Parliament said he had interpreted Hadi’s assertion to mean only an Islamic government could tackle the public health crisis. Lim has been heavily criticised for the statement. He has since apologised.
“I had never intended to question any faith or religion, including Islam, and my only intention was to write a response to what Hadi had been reported to have said,” the DAP stalwart said in a statement.
“After my statement was issued, I was told that I had misconstrued what Hadi had actually said, that he did not refer to an Islamic government,” Lim added.
“On this realisation, I retract my criticism and would like to apologise for it (as it was) based on an erroneous understanding of Hadi’s statement.”
In a statement posted on his Facebook page yesterday, Hadi said he believed the pandemic was a test for humanity by God, and that only Allah could triumph in the battle against the disease.
The assertion was likely directed at critics of the Perikatan Nasional government, who have accused Putrajaya of failing to deal with the crisis.
“Only those who are ignorant of the religion will look for weaknesses and shortcomings without offering any help to face these challenging times,” Hadi wrote.
Hadi’s statement was eventually reported by news portal Free Malaysia Today.
Despite the apology, Lim stressed that PAS as a member of the PN administration must shoulder some responsibility for what he felt was the government’s ineffective response to the pandemic.
“Malaysia is currently facing a colossal problem, whereby we are fast becoming among nations with the worst Covid-19 response in the world,” he said.
Daily positive cases in the country have continued to stay above 5,000 since May despite the enforcement of several movement control orders.
Malaysia had also been placed under Emergency rule since February, which Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said was necessary to combat the health crisis.