PETALING JAYA: When it comes to politics in the Malay-Muslim community, one cannot separate religion from it, says a Bersatu leader.
Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said this is because religion is part and parcel of the Malay-Muslim community’s political philosophy.
“In the Quran and Prophetic sayings, there are many references to that. So one cannot be secular in our approach when campaigning,” he said in an interview with BFM.
He was asked if Perikatan Nasional (PN) would be reducing its racial and religious rhetoric when campaigning for the coming state elections.
Asked why Bersatu has remained silent on previous racially inflammatory remarks made by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, Wan Fayhsal said Hadi’s comments had been addressed internally.
“We did discuss this in our meetings. We corrected them (PAS).
“Bersatu being one of the components of PN, we tried our best to moderate things so that at least the people know that we are for building a multiracial nation,” he said.
In August, Hadi drew brickbats for stating that non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras were at the root of corruption. He also wrote a Facebook posting that put the focus on non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras as being the majority involved in corruption.
Following that, PAS central committee member Zuhdi Marzuki defended Hadi’s statement by citing a survey by an unnamed local university which found that 88% of 449 people who were convicted of giving bribes between 2010 and 2014 were non-Malays.
Zuhdi said that of the total percentage, 57.46% were Chinese, 30.51% were Indians and 12.03% were Malays.
Wan Fayhsal noted that although Hadi’s remark was based on an academic study, he did not personally agree with the generalisation, adding that the study’s sampling may have been problematic.
“But Hadi has a point in terms of raising the issue when it comes to, for example, illicit activities in our country,” he said.