The opposition is deploying religious slurs to demonise ruling party DAP, said Pakatan Harapan leader Salahuddin Ayub, worsening the racial rhetoric in the Tg Piai by-election.
Salahudddin, who is Amanah deputy president, said DAP members were labelled as kafir harbi (infidels hostile to Muslims) while MCA members are considered kafir dzimmi (infidels friendly to Muslims).
The use of these terms, called takfiri, is controversial and has been condemned in the past by Islamic authorities as being out of sync with democratic norms.
Salahuddin accused the opposition of using takfiri to turn Tg Piai’s Malay voters against DAP and PH, without naming the party.
Six candidates are contesting the parliamentary seat, but the front-runners are Karmaine Sardini (PH) and Barisan Nasional’s Wee Jeck Seng.
Wee is being supported by Malay nationalist party Umno and new ally, the Islamist PAS.
“I heard that a ceramah speaker at a BN op centre who spoke about how they have to choose Wee Jeck Seng because he is a kafir dzimmi. He called Wee a kafir dzimmi,” Salahuddin told a crowd in Kg Sri Bunian in Tanjung Piai last night.
“The speaker said we reject the Chinese from ‘that other party’ because they are kafir harbi. What is this? It’s not our place to label people kafir,” said Salahuddin, who is also agriculture and agro-based industry minister.
“We don’t want the culture of labelling people kafir to take root in our country as it is this culture that has ruined Muslim countries.
“We are a peaceful country and we live in a multi-ethnic and multireligious country.”
Salahuddin also took aim at PAS’ inconsistent stand when it came to non-Muslims, accusing the party of changing its attitudes to suit its political goals.
“In the past, they said you cannot vote for infidels (non-Muslims) but now you can. We do not want to be caught in this racial trap where we change principles and change decrees.”
Another ceramah speaker Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin also criticised both PAS and Umno for attempting to scare Muslims into thinking that Islam was under threat from PH.
He said the increased allocations for the Federal Religious Affairs Department (Jakim) and KAFA teachers proved that PH was developing and supporting Islamic institutions.
“Do Muslims feel threatened because they cannot pray? Are Muslims feeling anxious today because the government is going to amend the constitution to remove Islam’s special status. Of course not.” – TMI