KUALA LUMPUR, NOV 6: UMNO-BN is desperate for attention when it starts placing the religious card in its attempt to politicise the issue thereby causing an unhealthy political sphere in the country, said the Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
According to him, pluralism issue is being manipulated to distract public attention on the much serious issues of corruption and misappropriation of money that have never been disclosed to public at large.
He said these issues were never raised for clarification within the UMNO-BN leadership itself and that the prevalent manipulation of facts must be dealt with seriously.
‘I have explained many times that Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) has been sent down as the greatest blessing for all universally. That is by itself plural in nature.’
‘Pluralism means equalling all religions on the same basis. That is a question of faith. How would I explain that all religions are just the same? For example, I pray according to the teachings of Islam. I do not pray in Church.’
‘It is just a political stunt. At the end of the day, they are just trying to flex their muscle by pointing out our weaknesses when there are, as a matter of fact other more important issues like corruption and misappropriation of money that UMNO-BN religious leaders have been silent about. They are merely politicising the issue of pluralism’, he said while admitting that he was one of the victims in the manipulated article on religion.
He further added that Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself was incapable of fending off the attack by its ally, MCA that, in his opinion, was very cynical about religion.
‘(Datuk Seri) Chua Soi Lek made such statement in the presence of Datuk Seri Najib.’
‘Does he (Najib) have a gut to respond? He does not even have a stomach to speak out against (Datuk Seri) Chua’s statement. So they (UMNO-BN) end up lambasting our statements’, he said.
He further added that Islamic Religious Department must take actions against those who make misleading statements and those who are involved in the vice activities such as gambling and ‘San Miguel’.
‘Pluralism in religion happens when a person denigrates Islam. This includes rejecting any Islamic principles and regarding all religions as the same.’
‘I have never mentioned ‘pluralism’. What is wrong with respecting other religions?’, he questioned.