Rafidah: Govt must stop zealots ruining Malaysia’s name

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PETALING JAYA: Rafidah Aziz has taken to Facebook to express her anger over the Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Dog issue, calling for the government to rein in people whose actions paint Malaysia in a negative light and threaten our moderate image.

Going straight to the point of the names of food being allegedly confusing to some Muslims, including tourists, Rafidah questioned such justification.

“The POINT is …WHICH MUSLIM TOURISTS ARE WE ‘CONFUSING’? TOURISTS ARE FAMILIAR WITH ‘hot dogs’ etc..and NOT likely to be confused,” the former trade minister wrote in her trademark style of emphasising some words or sentences in capital letters, which in internet lingo is also used to express anger.

However, she accepted that even if there were a few Muslim tourists who had some doubt over the food based on the name, there was no reason to cater for an “odd tiny minority, while forgetting the vast majority of Malaysians and other tourists/visitors who know what ‘hot dogs’ are”.

“If any Muslim is in doubt of the ‘halalness’ of anything, or are ‘was-was’ about it….then avoid it!” she said.

The former Wanita Umno chief came out strongly against people in authority for putting the country in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, creating such a negative impression of Malaysia.

“We are supposed to be a moderate Muslim nation. With such decisions, we have negated that and now appear to be a nation governed in some spheres, by people with horse blinkers on,” Rafidah wrote on her Facebook wall.

Playing on the now controversial word “dog” in her criticism of those in authority, Rafidah asked “Have some people gone doggone loco?”, adding “we cannot take the liberty to change the names of other peoples food!”

Meanwhile, Star Online reported that MCA wants its allies in the government to control religious authorities who are bent on “dominating, imposing and controlling others”.

“This entire episode rubbishes the notion of those who are pro-hudud that Muslim laws and authorities have no impact on non-Muslims.

“The much avowed promise that Islamic laws, authorities and regulations will not affect non-Muslims in a multiracial society is meaningless when many are still unable to uphold the true teachings of religion in a correct perspective,” MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Ti Lian Ke said in a statement.

He added that recent controversies do not bode well for the future of a multi-religious nation like Malaysia.

“There should not be one single ethnic group or religion intruding into the practices, tolerance and existence that have been upheld and protected by the spirit of Rukun Negara and the Federal Con­stitution,” he said.