Is Guan Eng trying to fan flames of racism, asks minister

Religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad asks whether it is wrong to use his religious knowledge to ‘guide the public and Muslims’.

PETALING JAYA: Religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad has hit back at Lim Guan Eng for calling him incompetent, accusing the DAP chairman of “deliberately fanning the flames of racism”.

Lim said yesterday Idris “tops the list of incompetent PAS ministers”, alleging that he did not bring any value to his job “apart from threatening national unity and disrupting religious harmony”.

Commenting on Idris’ insistence that an alleged victim of sexual assault who went public with her claim should have just reported it to the police, he said that such “shaming” and “moral policing” was not beneficial.

Stating that Lim’s accusations were far off the mark, Idris said it was “extremely slanderous” to claim that he was shaming the individual in question as he took religious considerations into account when evaluating the issue.

“Is it wrong if I use (my) knowledge and religious arguments to guide the public and Muslims?” he asked

“Is it wrong for me as the religious affairs minister to call for things that are outlined in the religion and are in line with the principles contained in the Al-Quran?

“Or is (Lim) deliberately fanning the flames of racism and widening the religious divide by inciting non-Muslims to shun the beliefs practised by Muslims?”

Idris also accused the opposition of being bereft of ideas and continuously finding fault with the government.

Lim had responded to an FMT report on Monday in which a political analyst said Umno should not partner with PAS as the Islamic party was starting to grow unpopular, even among Malays and Muslims.

In the report, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Agus Yusoff said the public could see for themselves “how PAS rides on religion, governs certain states poorly, and has incompetent ministers”.

Idris received flak last week for his remarks on a teenage actress who recently shared that she was molested by her father when she was younger.

He was quoted by Berita Harian as saying the 15-year-old should not have gone public with her experience, but should instead have reported the incident to the police and let the law take its course.

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