Shafie: BN upholds, not abuses, Islam
SEMPORNA, June 24 — Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has dismissed claims that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government does not uphold Islam in this country.
The Rural and Regional Development Minister said Umno as the backbone of BN government had been upholding the sanctity of Islam long before the country gained independence from colonial rule.
“Islam was made the official religion in the Umno constitution. When the country gained independence, we made Islam the official religion in the Federal Constitution while other religions may be practised freely,” he said after closing a Haj programme here today.
Shafie said the BN government had used the power at hand to enhance Islam’s position as the official religion but did not dare to use Islam for political interests.
This could be seen by the establishment of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Tabung Haji, and the emphasis on Islamic education at pre-school, primary, secondary and up to university level.
He said this was different for PAS, which used religion for political interests by saying that those who vote the party would go to heaven.
“We never said vote for us and you will go to heaven. What we do is to train prospective pilgrims to enable them to perform the rituals correctly.”
Shafie regretted that some had organised rallies in Saudi Arabia that could affect Malaysia’s efforts to increase the quota of Haj pilgrims to the holy land. — Bernama