Downplaying the issue, the Umno Youth chief says there is no need to make a big deal out of a personal opinion.
But Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin saw no reason to raise the alarm or break up the marriage.
Downplaying the issue, he said that it was Kemelah rep Ayub Rahmat’s personal opinion and not the official stand of Umno.
“I believe this is a non-issue and something that our political opponents have decided to exploit unnecessarily,” he told FMT.
Khairy, who also spearheaded the BN Youth chapter, said MCA was also aware that it was not Umno’s official stand.
“It would be different if this was Umno’s official stand or that of Johor Umno. But it is not. It’s a personal suggestion that has not gained any traction whatsoever.
“There’s no need to make a big deal out of someone’s personal stand,” he added.
Ayub: Not a publicity stunt
Meanwhile, Ayub had denied that he was seeking publicity with his suggestion but rather wanted to raise the awareness of the people regarding hudud.
Speaking to Malay daily Sinar Harian, the Umno rep however said he would prefer not to discuss this matter in the open as it could lead to misunderstandings and misrepresentations.
Conceding that he lacked the expertise on this subject, Ayub said the issue was best left in the hands of those who were knowledgeable in the field of Islamic jurisprudence.
Following his suggestion, MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Chua Tee Yong, who is the son of MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, issued the stern warning.
Ayub’s brainchild landed MCA in a bind as in its quest for Chinese votes, the party had consistently attacked its rival DAP on this issue, given the latter’s partnership with the Islamic-based PAS.
Some observers, reading between the lines of the Umno man’s suggestion, claimed that it was another attempt to tarnish Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s image.
For long, speculation had been rife of a power tussle between Najib and Muhyiddin, who incidentally hailed from Johor.