KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — MIC leaders told Datuk Zulkifli Noordin today to “shut up”, apologise and retract his remarks that allegedly disparaged the Hindu religion.
The Independent Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP was recorded in a video uploaded yesterday on YouTube as questioning the purity of the Ganges River in India, which the Hindus consider sacred, claiming that chicken carcasses were floating in it.
“If you don’t have in-depth knowledge, you must shut up and keep quiet,” MIC central working committee member Datuk T. Rajagopalu told The Malaysian Insider today.
“He’s not fit to be an MP. He’s a half-baked lawyer and he’s not a true Muslim man. A true Muslim man would never condemn other religions,” he added.
Rajagopalu said Zulkifli, who is also the Perkasa vice-president and a Sharia lawyer, should read up on Hinduism and the Ganges River before commenting.
MIC vice-president Datuk S. K. Devamany demanded that Zulkifli apologise and withdraw his remarks.
“How dare he do this?” said Devamany.
“He’s a very irresponsible member of Parliament. We’re trying to create harmony and peace and the concept of 1 Malaysia, and trying to engage all communities, and harmonise everybody’s feelings...He should retract it and be sensitive to the needs of the people, the Hindus,” he added.
Hindu Sangam said earlier today that the video of Zulkifli’s remarks, which the opposition has labelled as vicious attacks against Hinduism, had originally surfaced in 2011.
The Hindu group said that it has previous complained about Zulkifli, but believed that no action was taken against him because he was a Muslim and a member of Perkasa.
Zulkifli was shown in the video delivering a religious lecture, in which he questioned a Hindu trader on why Hindu gods did not prevent the man’s shop from being flooded.
He also appeared to mock what was described as a rush to buy up the broken idols.
“Many Indians are fighting to buy statues of the elephant god, even the one with its trunk broken off… I asked him why they were buying this god, [when] the trunk is broken. He said, ‘Never mind, we’ll mend it,’” said the lawmaker who was sacked from PKR.
MIC central working committee member P. Kamalanathan condemned Zulkifli’s remarks “in the harshest manner possible.”
“Our diverse country does not need such sensitive provocation which is against the lofty 1 Malaysia ideal of the government,” Kamalanathan, who is also the Hulu Selangor MP, told The Malaysian Insider.
Indian group the National Indian-Rights Action Team (NIAT) lodged a police report against Zulkifli at the Dang Wangi police station here today.
“His remarks were very insulting. His statement can incite religious tension between the Muslims and Hindus,” said NIAT chairman Datuk Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Haj in a statement today.
“YB Zulkifli’s statement is also seditious. This report was lodged so that investigations can be conducted immediately and for appropriate action to be taken against YB Zulkifli,” he added, pointing out that Section 298A of the Penal Code prohibited actions that cause disharmony, feelings of enmity and hatred.
Human rights group Suaram also censured Zulkifli earlier today and urged voters to reject him in Election 2013 that is expected to be held in weeks.
This is the second incident of the year in which Hindus were the apparent target.
Earlier this year, columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah upset MIC central working committee member S. Vell Paari after allegedly insulting the Hindu community in an article published in Malay-language daily Sinar Harian on February 18.