Bar Perlis mufti from entering Sabah, Sarawak, party tells states

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

KUCHING: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) has urged Warisan and Gabungan Parti Sarawak to ban Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin from entering Sabah and Sarawak.

Its president, Voon Lee Shan, said they did not want the “cancer” from the peninsula, which compromised peace and harmony to spread as Sarawak had no issues concerning religion or race even during the Brooke and British era.

“His call (for racial domination) is dangerous to harmony and the peaceful practice of one’s culture and traditions,” he told reporters here today.

Voon said Asri should not call for the Malays to dominate as the customs practised by other races in the country are protected under the Federal Constitution.

“Any imposition of one’s culture and religion against the will of others is unconstitutional under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which states that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the protection of the law.”

He said Asri and those who are proponents of the supremacy of the Malay race are reminded that they cannot make a Dayak, Chinese, Indian, Orang Ulu or other indigenous Sarawakians a Malay because it is impossible to do so under Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

Therefore, the call to have the Malay race and culture dominate, borders on sedition, especially against the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

“We need to be reminded that a fundamental term in the formation of Malaysia is that, it was agreed that Malaysia was to be a secular state,” he said.

The call to impose the supremacy of the Malay race and culture could create racial unrest and drag the King into the dispute, he said.

“If cornered, other races or communities may run to the King for cover. The King has a constitutional duty under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution to safeguard the legitimate interests of other communities,” he said.

He said this would put Asri in a bad light in the eyes of the King and advised those who intended to fan the flames with issues surrounding race, religion and the monarchy to stop.

Last week, Sarawak for Sarawakians leader Peter John Jaban also urged the Sarawak government to bar Asri from entering the state.

He denounced Asri for referring to Malaysia as “Tanah Melayu”, saying he was either displaying his ignorance or deliberately disregarding the fact that Sarawak and Sabah are integral parts of the Malaysian federation.

He said Asri had made a fool of himself with the statement and hurt the feelings of Sarawakians and Sabahans.

It was also reported that Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Sabah Progressive Party had also taken Asri to task for his recent comment that Malaysia is “for the Malays”.

According to them, the country belonged to all Malaysians at the time of its formation on Sept 16, 1963.

Asri’s controversial statement came in a sermon he delivered recently, posted on his Facebook page.

He criticised those who would not recognise the dominance of the Malays in Malaysia, saying it was indisputable that every country in the world has its dominant race.

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