PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has spoken out against those who resort to insulting others out of blind devotion to certain political parties, including Islamic preachers and scholars.
Anwar said a recent speech he gave where he touched on a story mentioned in the Surah Al-Kahfi in the Quran was misinterpreted by certain quarters, leading to “excessive and unacceptable” criticism even from preachers and scholars.
According to Bernama, the prime minister said these figures would criticise, curse and even slander others who are not aligned with their political leanings, out of blind devotion to a party.
Anwar said his intention was to remind public servants that economic development, national progress and good governance should be aligned with Islamic values and morals.
He added that there are better ways to voice differing opinions instead of resorting to excessive criticism, particularly “constructive discourse”.
“I touched on the story of the seven young men mentioned in the Surah Al-Kahfi in the Quran, where during that time, the unjust system, government and a cruel king who worshipped idols were rejected by the believers, including these youths who took refuge in a cave.
“The message is about the steadfastness of the young men’s faith that shielded them from polytheism and depravity. Therefore, it is appropriate for civil servants to learn from this story,” he said.
Earlier this month, a preacher in Terengganu reportedly misinterpreted Anwar’s remarks during this speech. Anwar said the preacher did not listen to his full speech.
The prime minister also told the preacher to listen to the context of his speech and not to be “hasty in following political sentiments”.