GST: A Good Government Approaches Ulamas, Bad Ulama’s Eager to Approach Government

SHAH ALAM, 6 May: The statement by the Pahang Mufti, Abdul Rahman Othaman, asking the people to support the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) without providing further information can cause confusion following unsound arguments.

Abdul Rahman only based this on the view of Ulama, Mohamad Abdullah, but avoided commenting further and asked those who do not believe him to argue with the Ulama.

Political writer, Shahbuddin Husin, said that his ‘hanging’ statement could confuse some who are less knowledgeable and would assume that the efforts to criticise the federal government’s mistakes is a ‘huge sin’.

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“Of course fanatics will think that the current government should remain until the end because they believe that changing the government or belittling the existing leadership is a huge sin.

“Abdul Rahman’s statement is much like a previous statement by the Perak Mufti, Harussani Zakaria, describing demonstrators during the new year’s eve celebration as ‘bunghah’ (rebels) and that it is halal (lawful) for them to be killed.

“It is unclear what the purpose is for these two muftis to issue half-baked statements like this, but it clearly adds to confusion among the people and Muslims,” he wrote on his blog.

On May 2, Abdul Rahman said that Muslims should not blame the implementation of the GST, instead should help the government by supporting the effort.

He said that Islam does not prohibit any tax system but it needs to follow Islamic law and not oppress the people.

Abdul Rahman also advised the people to always obey the government, except for vice activities, and said that Islam encourages for all arising problems to be solved through discussion rather than belittling the government.

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The statement by the Pahang Mufti is believed to have been issued following various objection by the people towards the government, as well as the latest demonstration to object to the GST, which was held at Dataran Merdeka and attended by about 50,000 people of all races.

At the same time, SHahbudin also urged ulamas and muftis to be more focused on various problems and solutions among the people, rather than being ‘passionate’ in interfering with political conflicts.

“With the existence of such ulamas and muftis, the saying by religious and knowledgeable people that ‘a good government approaches ulamas, but bad ulamas always approach leaders’ is true,” he said.

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