Respect one another, Penang mufti advises all races

Penang Mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor calls for harmony among all Malaysians of various races and religions.

PETALING JAYA: Penang Mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor has called on community leaders to control the speeches and actions of their members to promote greater harmony in the country.

He asked non-Malays to respect the privileges conferred on Bumiputeras, including the position of Islam, the Malay rulers and the national language.

He also urged the Malays not to bring up issues of race supremacy or to deny the rights of other races.

“What is really needed is for all citizens to live together in a peaceful and tolerant environment.

“All races need to accept the fact that Malaysians come from different races and different religions,” he said.

The mufti’s advice comes in the wake of a statement by Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin who criticised those he claimed disregarded the dominance of the Malays in Malaysia.

Asri said the idea that all races are equal in moulding a nation’s identity does not exist in practice, even in the advanced west.

“A country has its identity. China is for Chinese. Is India for the Chinese, too? No, it’s for the Indians,” Asri was reported as saying yesterday during a talk at a mosque.

“What about Malaysia, Tanah Melayu? If China is for the Chinese and the Indian sub-continent is for the Indians, can Tanah Melayu be for all?

“Of course, justice is for all, but there must be a dominant race,” he said

Citing the controversy over the teaching of the Jawi script, Asri said its inclusion in the syllabus is because it is part of the dominant race’s heritage.

On preaching Islam to non-Muslims, Wan Salim reminded Muslims that it was pointless for people to convert to Islam without free will.

He said people who want to convert to Islam should do it voluntarily.