JITRA, June 17 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim refuted claims by certain parties that he tried to apply the Islamic concept excessively in his administration when he wanted to expand the role of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).
He said that the accusations thrown at him by a small number of non-Muslims showed that the group did not understand the importance of educating Muslims about the true concept of the religion.
“I want Jakim not only to talk about religion and Islamic law. Jakim, now under my administration as Prime Minister and the Unity Government, is to expand its duties, talk about economic issues, look at digital programmes, and look at the education curriculum.
“The responsibility is broader, so that the values of Islam can be applied, and this is opposed by those who do not understand, a small group of non-Muslims who write that “Anwar is now displaying his strong Islamist attitude, which he has tried to hide all this time by ordering Jakim to control all the systems”.
He said this in his speech at the diamond jubilee celebration of Sekolah Menengah Agama (SMA) Nahdhah Hasanah Melele, in Kodiang near here, today.
Also present were Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar and SMA Nahdhah Hasanah principal Mohd Jamil Sadaqi Tajuddin.
Anwar explained that if Muslims in this country do not get a true understanding of Islamic teachings, it is feared that it may result in clashes between communities in this country.
“I want to thank my non-Muslim friends for their support, but they also need to understand that if Muslims have shallow knowledge (in Islam), their tendency is to punish; if their attitude is cruel, harsh, and does not bring people to be attracted and interested in Islam, then our future will be more chaotic in terms of fighting, clashing between communities,” he said.
He also said that during the seven months of governing the country, his government never received any opposition from non-Muslims, instead they only asked about the efforts the government wanted to make.
Meanwhile, Anwar also welcomed religious scholars and teachers to give their views on the government, but reminded them not to get carried away by the politics of division.
“Hence, if they want to protect Islam, there are many things that they can criticise me (for) which I can accept; (they) can criticise the government, I can accept it too, but defamation I will not allow.
“There is a view, that if you are not with a certain party, you are not a member of Ahli Sunnah Waljamaah; isn’t that dangerous? Religious scholars must say something, we should not have an obsession with the party that is above everything else,” he said. — Bernama