PETALING JAYA: A Sarawak cabinet member has rubbished a proposal by a coalition of NGOs for the establishment of Malay-Muslim only state governments, describing it as a “crazy idea”.
“To me that is a crazy idea as Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country,” Sarawak tourism, creative industry and performing arts minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told reporters after attending the Sarawak Youth Development committee meeting 2023.
“Anybody can come up with opinions as we are a democratic country, even when (such opinions) are not ideal for the country.”
However, he added that it does not mean that such ideas would be automatically adopted by the government.
Abdul Karim was responding to the proposal by Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) chairman Zai Mustafa.
On Tuesday, Focus Malaysia reported Zai as saying that the outcome of the six state polls last week reflected the people’s desire in wanting to realise the unification of Malays and Muslims in the country.
He urged leaders of Malay-Muslim political parties to be open-minded in accepting the agenda of unifying the ummah (Muslim solidarity) for the benefit of religion, the Malay race and nation.
Zai added that the proposal is “justifiable”, considering that Malay-Muslim state assemblymen formed the majority of winners in the recent state elections, whether they are from Umno, PAS, Bersatu, Amanah or PKR.
He also said that political parties with Malay leadership will certainly not sideline Islam and would want the religion to be defended at all costs.
Yesterday, the Borneo Post reported that 12 NGOs and civil societies from Sabah and Sarawak had expressed concern over Ummah’s proposal.
The group’s spokesman, Peter John Jaban, said the proposal “seems divorced from political reality and probably won’t happen”.
He added that racial and religion-based politics will throw the country’s economy out the window.