PETALING JAYA: Controversial government preacher Zamihan Mat Zin has launched a thinly veiled attack on Dr Mahathir Mohamad for making a political comeback, saying an old man who was in power for 22 years should instead enrol in a madrasah and spend time in prayer.
“When we were in power, we did all sorts of things. We issued statements that hurt the people’s feelings… that took lives of the people. But when others are in charge, we say they are not right, not progressive,” he said in an interview with news portal Watan Online, responding to a question on his thoughts about a certain leader who was making a political comeback.
Without naming Mahathir, Zamihan said the person should stay out of politics and repent “for all his past mistakes”.
“And do charitable deeds for the hereafter. Stop thinking about politics when you’re old and about to die,” he said in the Facebook Live interview.
Zamihan is an officer with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) but is seconded to the home ministry to carry out programmes for prisoners, including rehabilitation of militant suspects.
In October last year, he criticised the Johor sultan’s stand on a Muslim-only laundrette, and made derogatory remarks about the hygiene of Chinese Malaysians. He was arrested and investigated for sedition, and was condemned by both the Johor and Selangor sultans.
The Selangor sultan, in revoking his teaching credentials, called him a racist, while Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar described Zamihan an “empty tin can without any brains”,.
In his interview today, Zamihan further said it was jealousy that made the “comeback politician” to rejoin politics, adding that it was proof of his bad intentions.
“An old man who had ruled for 22 years should enrol himself in a pondok (religious school), recite the Quran and spend his day remembering God and repenting and asking for forgiveness for past mistakes,” he said.
Mahathir, 93, was prime minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. He is currently leading Pakatan Harapan’s charge at the next general election, which must be called by the middle of this year.
Meanwhile, Zamihan said it was “haram” to work with DAP as it was clearly “anti-Islam” for opposing PAS’s efforts to introduce stiffer punishments on shariah offenders.
“DAP members may scold me but it does not matter, I have no interest in Umno, Amanah, PAS, PKR. We are in an NGO. We speak the truth, for the sake of God, not as mercenaries,” said Zamihan, who is the president of Pertubuhan Sunnah Wal Jamaah Malaysia, a group which wants Malaysian Muslims to strictly adhere to the Shafi’i school of Sunni Islam.