Muslim refugees now feel safer in non-Muslim countries, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaking at the breaking of fast event organised by the Malaysian Islamic Welfare Association in Putrajaya today. (Bernama pic.)

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed disappointment with Muslim countries which, he argued, have “failed” as Muslim refugees now feel safer seeking asylum in non-Muslim countries.

“I feel sad looking at Muslims (abroad). Muslim countries have failed and they (their citizens) have to save themselves by going to non-Muslim countries.

“They should actually go to other Muslim countries. But most of the Muslim countries are not safe and are not willing to accept refugees,” he said at a breaking of fast event organised by the Malaysian Islamic Welfare Association (Perkim) here this evening.

Mahathir said millions of refugees had migrated to European countries in their search for safety and protection.

“This is not because of Islam as a religion itself but because the Muslims push aside the teachings of Islam, even though they often preach in God’s name,” he said.

Mahathir said Malaysians often forget to be thankful that they live in a peaceful country.

“In Malaysia, we can have our breaking of fast gathering peacefully and safely. This is not something that is seen as common (in some other Muslim countries).”

He said people in many Muslim countries face occurrences that are “against Islam”.

“We see many people dying from hunger or being hit by bombs and rockets in the wars that are happening.

“A lot of governments  also oppress their citizens. Even though they are Muslim, they do not abide by the religious teachings,” he said.

However, he said that differences within the Muslim community in Malaysia are mainly due to different individual interests.

“Because of different interests, political interests for example, we are divided and have become weak,” he said.

Later, after the breaking of fast, Mahathir told reporters the government needed more time to fulfil the remaining promises in its manifesto.

“We will put in effort (going forward) but one year is not enough to do anything,” he said.

He maintained that the government has “achieved a lot”, noting that 39.01% of the 464 initiatives in the PH manifesto have been fulfilled in its first year in power.

“But a lot of the other promises will take more time,” he said.