PETALING JAYA: Veterans group National Patriots Association (Patriot) has hit out at criticisms over the appointment of a DAP assemblyman to the board of a government-run Islamic propagation body, saying it smacked of “sheer ignorance and racism”.
Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji singled out Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki for his views despite being an Islamic scholar and former Yadim member.
Arshad said Asyraf felt Sheikh Omar Sheikh Ali was unfit to sit on the board of Yadim due to his “own selfish political beliefs”.
He said Sheikh Omar holds a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies, majoring in Propagation (Dakwah), from Universiti Malaya.
“What other academic qualifications does Asyraf want from Sheikh Omar to qualify to sit on the board of Yadim?
“Does Asyraf think that Sheikh Omar, just being a member of DAP, is a lesser Malay and even a much lesser Muslim?” he said in a statement.
Asyraf had previously criticised the appointment of Sheikh Omar, who is the Paloh assemblyman, claiming that the latter belonged to a party that had never recognised Islam as the official religion of the country.
He also said Islamic institutions in the country were now under threat from the “DAP-dominated” Pakatan Harapan administration.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who is in charge of Islamic affairs, has since defended Sheikh Omar’s appointment, citing his religious credentials.
Mujahid also said that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also agreed to Omar’s appointment to Yadim.
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.