Malaysians now reject racial politics, says PKR veep

Housing and Local Government Minister and PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin at a Hari Hari Aidiladha event in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, today.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin today dismissed speculation that Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari’s proposed amendment on the unilateral conversion of minors was to strengthen certain leaders’ political power among Malay voters.

Zuraida said she believes that Malaysian politics is no longer bound by racial lines, adding that the people are “more magnanimous than that”.

“I think our politics is beyond that. There are no more racial lines, no more racism,” the housing and local government minister told FMT at a Hari Raya Aidiladha kenduri event.

It is rumoured that Amirudin proposed the amendment to strengthen Malay support for certain leaders, after cracks between PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy Mohamed Azmin Ali emerged following the gay sex video controversy in June.

Amirudin recently said he still intends to table the bill in the upcoming state assembly meeting “if there is a need to do so”.

Zuraida said she will be meeting the menteri besar soon to discuss the issue as she wants to understand the perspective of the Selangor government.

She said that at the end of the day, the state government is subject to the sultan’s advice.

Amirudin had proposed the amendment last week despite a landmark ruling by the Federal Court last year that the consent of both parents is needed for the conversion of minors.

Following his move, non-Muslim state executive councillors held an audience on Aug 9 with Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah at Istana Bukit Kayangan to raise this issue, along with other matters.

The last state assembly meeting was abruptly adjourned after two days by speaker Ng Suee Lim, who later denied speculation that he did so because he was unhappy over the amendment.