Perlis Mufti: Malaysia Is for Malays

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Justice is for everyone, but when it comes to national identity, there must always be a dominant race, Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said.

In a video of a sermon posted on his Facebook page last night, Asri said the concept applies elsewhere, including India, China and Europe for all the west’s talk of human rights and equality for all.

“A nation must have its identity. We are not being racist…Islam… China is for Chinese. No one questions that. That is their identity. India is for who? For the Chinese, agree? Of course not. India is for Indians.

“Europe, despite them talking about human rights, equal rights, but Europe is still for the whites, for the white people.

“Malaysia, Tanah Melayu, for whom? For whom? Must have its people too. China is for Chinese. The Indian continent is for Indians, but Tanah Melayu is not for Malays? Cannot, cannot. Must be for all.

“Justice is for all, that is correct. But there must be a dominant race, correct? There must be a dominant race,” he said.

Citing the controversy over the teaching of the Jawi script, Asri said its inclusion in the syllabus is because it is part of the dominant race’s heritage.

He said in neighbouring Thailand, Malay citizens learn and speak the Thai language, including for Islamic studies, while countries such as Singapore and China expect their citizens to subscribe to a single national school stream.

Malaysia, on the other hand, said Asri, has given leeway to different communities to set up their own vernacular schools.

Asri said there seems to be a phobia towards anything that is linked with Islam, including in the controversy over Jawi.

The mufti said he is not racist, but only rational and explained that he did not equate dominance with oppression.

“But if someone says because the Malays are dominant, and so we must oppress the other races, that notion, we must oppose. We oppose such oppressors.

“We must oppose when one says, we must be cruel to others, and disrespect their rights,” Asri added.

In his video-recorded sermon, Asri said he disagreed with Zakir’s innuendos about Indian and Chinese Malaysians, adding that the remarks were unnecessary.

“I am ready to criticise Zakir Naik. I said I don’t agree with the remarks, though it was taken out of context, but still, no need to say such things,” he said, adding that those who make scathing remarks about others lay themselves open to criticism.