DAP man says appointment to Yadim shows party is not anti-Islam

Paloh assemblyman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali.

PUTRAJAYA: Paloh assemblyman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali has brushed aside criticism that he is not qualified as a DAP member to be appointed to the board of Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim).

He said his appointment should be seen in a positive manner.

Sheikh Umar noted that from one perspective, his appointment should serve to debunk the lies that DAP was an anti-Islam party, as claimed by detractors.

It would also show the people that DAP had members with credentials to speak on Islam, he added.

“I think this is a good and positive development. I am not that great a person, but I feel that I will be able to contribute in some way to the development of dakwah, through Yadim.”

After receiving his appointment letter here today, Sheikh Umar, who is the sole DAP representative in the agency, said that those criticising his appointment were politically motivated.

He said the argument being made was that he was unqualified merely because he is a member of DAP, which has been deemed “anti-Islam” by certain politically-motivated groups.

He said “slanderous remarks” were being made by those who hated DAP.

“If DAP is a party that contradicts the Federal Constitution, it can be banned. But this did not happen under the past Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.”

He said it was not that DAP was anti-Islam, just that some groups were trying to give DAP a bad name. “BN is playing a shallow political game,” he added.

Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki had yesterday questioned the decision of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa to appoint Sheikh Umar as a Yadim board member.

Asyraf said Yadim should remain as a dakwah body that played its role in propagating Islam.

“DAP is a party that has never wanted to recognise Islam as the religion of the country. In fact, they have consistently wanted Malaysia to be a secular country.

“It appears that such Islamic institutions are being ripped apart by the DAP-dominated Pakatan Harapan (PH).”

Mujahid denied as baseless allegations that the appointments of the 12 board members were political in nature.

“They were chosen based on merit. Coincidentally, they are from certain political parties. We chose them to lead Yadim because of their experience,” he told reporters here today.

Yadim, formed in 1974 to streamline Islamic propagation efforts by the government and Muslim NGOs, is now headed by Nik Omar Nik Aziz, the son of the late Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.