KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has hit back at Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s remarks that the “voices” of those defending Islam in the present administration can hardly be heard.
“Because he is deaf,” said Mahathir when asked to comment on Asri’s statement.
“If he could hear, we do many things for Muslims and Islam but he does not hear it,” he said on the sidelines of the 20th AAMO Triennial Gala Dinner and Awards at a hotel here tonight.
Earlier today, Asri took potshots at the Pakatan Harapan administration following the arrest of an associate who allegedly made insulting remarks against Hinduism.
“I don’t blame the police but this is happening due to a political reality that allows Muslims to be bullied,” he said in defence of controversial preacher Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu, who was arrested early yesterday in Arau, Perlis.
Zamri, who heads Muslim propagation organisation One Centre Malaysia, is being investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act over a lecture at a mosque in Kelantan last year.
Asri said current “political realities” allowed Muslims to be bullied, adding that authorities had not acted against government leaders who made statements offensive to Muslims.
“Many statements insulting Muslims were made by individuals who are part of the current government, creating racial tension, but they were only called to give a statement,” he said.