KLANG: The incumbent candidate for Klang, Charles Santiago, has laughed off the allegation by Umno supporters that Pakatan Harapan chairman Mahathir Mohamad won’t be able to defend Islam if he becomes prime minister again because he will be controlled by DAP.
“Knowing the guy, do you think DAP could possibly be using him?” he said.
Santiago, who is a member of DAP, also denied that his party or any other in Pakatan had any intention of denying Muslims their rights.
Speaking to FMT, he rejected that argument that Pakatan had shown it was anti-Islam by opposing the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (RUU355).
“It’s not about taking away the rights of Muslims, but ensuring the rights of non-Muslims are taken care of as well,” he said.
“This is about the future of Malaysia, not about Islam. As far as Islam is concerned, it will never be compromised and this is something Pakatan is committed to.”
He said the issue should have been put to rest when Mahathir’s party, PPBM, joined Pakatan.
“PPBM, which is largely a Malay-Muslim party, will defend Islam,” he said. “And knowing people who are in PPBM, I can tell you they will defend Islam to their last breath.”
Santiago pointed to Pakatan’s administration of Selangor as his proof that the coalition would take care of Islam and Muslims.
“We’ve been in Selangor for 10 years. Money has been given to Muslim NGOs and also to mosques and suraus. During Hari Raya Haji, cows are given. Where have Selangor Muslims lost their rights?”
He noted that MCA too had publicly spoken against the proposed amendments to RUU355 . “But when push comes to shove, MCA is subservient to Umno.”
He also pointed out that the Selangor government in 2008 set up a committee to be in charge of non-
Muslim affairs. “Now, 10 years later, it’s in Barisan Nasional’s manifesto,” he added.