Malaysia

Jakim used to create false fear over non-Muslim threat, says Mat Zain

By Clara Chooi
December 15, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Former senior police officer Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim today berated Datuk Seri Najib Razak for allegedly “misusing” the country’s religious authorities to create false fear over threats by non-Muslims against Islam and the Malay rulers.

He told the prime minister in an email released to the media that such threats only come from the Malays and Muslims themselves, adding that he has “never experienced or known of” situations where the non-Malays came together to conspire against anyone.

“The ones who dare to be rude and rebel in such a manner against him (Ruler) come from among the Malays themselves,” he wrote.

The outspoken ex-KL CID chief even singled out Umno politicians as those who often squabble among themselves “not due to differences in opinion or to protect the fates and futures of the Malays or uphold Islamic teachings but to fight over millions and billions of the people’s money”.

“Do not, YAB Datuk Seri (Najib) create issues that could create havoc among us as Malays, just to divert attention away from your personal problems and those who surround you.

“The people know that YAB (Najib) is currently going through a period of instability and uncertainty, confusion and worry. But this does not mean YAB and your personal advisers are fit to misuse a certain government institution to present a Friday sermon like the one recited last week,” he said.

The sermon, delivered at all mosques last Friday and prepared by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), suggested that the position of Islam and the royal institution was being questioned because Muslims were selling out the religion to “certain quarters” which it did not name.

It appeared to note that Muslims who associate with non-Muslims or stand up for non-Muslim causes were betraying their faith, and echoed some of the racially divisive views espoused at the recent Umno general assembly.

A copy of the sermon — sighted by The Malaysian Insider — also seemed to hit out at Muslims who “conspire with certain groups in questioning Islam as the official religion in this country on the excuse of defending the fundamental rights of others” for personal gain.

It described those Muslims as “deviating from the teachings” of Prophet Muhammad, as well as “committing a big sin, oppressing Muslims and threatening national harmony” in the sermon that was to mark the end of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin’s five year reign as Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

“Remember, if Muslims lose their integrity, their pride and are manipulated by others, in the end, Islam in this country will suffer the same fate that has befallen other nations where their people were insulted and driven from the country of their birth,” it said.

The sermon did not directly refer to any one person in particular but appeared to echo the political rhetoric heard at the Umno general assembly last week.

Slamming the sermon, Mat Zain told Najib that its words could cause chaos among the country’s religious communities and among the Muslims.

“We are not worried about fights between the Malays and non-Malays or between Muslims and Christians or those of other fates. This is unlikely to happen in this country is the Muslims do not start it.

“What we should fear is a clash between the Malays and the Muslims... the Felda Lubuk Merbau and Memali incidents (in 1985), if they are repeated, would injure the Malays and Muslims multiple times more,” he said.