KUALA LUMPUR: PAS assistant secretary-general Syahir Sulaiman has been asked to apologise to the Siamese community over his statement during the “Debate on New Economic Model”, which was described as being insensitive to the institution and religion of Buddhism.
Siamese Bumiputera Malaysia Chambers of Commerce president Boon Som Inong alleged Syahir had hurt the feelings of the Siamese community in Malaysia when he said during the debate that monks claimed drinking alcohol was permitted in Buddhism.
“The statement is completely untrue as prohibition on drinking alcohol is one of the basic moral teachings of Buddhism known as Panca-sila (Five Precepts) and is contained in the Tripitaka, the sacred book of Buddhism.
“Therefore, the whole Siamese Buddhist community regrets and condemns the statement made by this PAS leader and considers it excessive, insensitive and disrespectful to the institution and religion of Buddhism,” said Boon in a statement today.
Boon said the Bachok MP should withdraw his statement and publicly apologise to the entire Siamese community in Malaysia.
He said that if Syahir refused to do so, he would make a police report against him.
“We think the PAS leader’s statement is actually an attempt to drag the institution of monks into the political arena, while monks are actually a holy institution in the Buddhist religion.
“In this regard, we call on all political parties in this country to understand this position and sensitivity. They should respect the institution of monks and not attempt to drag this institution into the political scene,” he said.
Yesterday, Syahir debated with economy minister Rafizi Ramli over the direction of the country’s economy. The special debate, lasting almost one hour and 30 minutes, was broadcast on TV1 and Astro Awani.