PETALING JAYA: An MP from Sabah has warned the government against attempting to “out-Islamise” the opposition, saying Putrajaya will risk alienating East Malaysians.
Such attempts would also see non-Malays refraining from voting in upcoming by-elections and subsequent state and federal polls, Wilfred Madius Tangau said.
“Politically, it would be dangerous for the unity government to enter an ‘out-Islamisation race’ with Perikatan Nasional, which it will not win,” the Tuaran MP said in a statement.
The former federal minister said the government should “treat everyone as stakeholders” when mulling any changes to sensitive issues.
“Let’s be honest, in Malaysia, intentional or not, what happens to one community often has a spillover effect on the other,” he said, citing the recent brouhaha over plans to include a module on Islamic hadiths in the school syllabus.
The education ministry said last week the module was aimed at fostering an appreciation of the hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) and to promote better religious understanding among school-going children.
The ministry later explained that the module was only for Muslim schoolchildren.
Tangau also suggested that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim repackage the Madani concept to prepare Malaysians for “upcoming storms”.
“Instead of pandering to the right and dividing the nation on ethno-religious lines, he should instead unite Malaysians against crises that would be cruel to us all.”