PM gives Utusan immunity to promote narrow views on race & religion
After a series of articles condemning Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching for entering a surau, Utusan Malaysia is now accusing her of “causing problems again” during an aerobics exercise event at a mosque compound.
The front-page report accused her of wearing “tight clothes” during the function at the launch of the Maal Hijrah (Islamic new year) function in the compound of the Taman Cheras Jaya mosque on Dec 12.
The report also featured quotes from pro-Umno blog Ruang Bicara Faisal (RBF) which accused Selangor PAS of practising double standards.
Citing PAS-ruled Kelantan's gender segregated payment counters at shopping centres, dinner tables and sporting events, the blogger said that the party turned a blind eye to what goes on in mosque compounds in Selangor.
“PAS' fatwa in Selangor is different. Men and women are allowed to have aerobics exercise in a mosque compound without segregation.
“Even better when their elected representative wears tight clothes for a function held in conjunction with Maal Hijrah,” said the anonymous blogger, as reported by Utusan.
The report also quoted the blogger as also accusing Teo's party DAP and PAS of lacking principles and being willing to do anything for the sake of seeking popularity.
Teo bites back
This is the second time Utusan had homed in on Teo's activities with her Muslim constituents, with the first questioning her appearance at a breaking of fast function in a mosque in Kajang.
In an immediate reaction to today's report, Teo said Utusan's report represents its “extremist” attitudes and is bent on promoting racial and religious tensions.
“I would not be dictated by the 'rules' set by Utusan or Umno because I believe Umno is not qualified to teach Islam,” she said in a posting on her blog and Facebook page today.
She argued that she had done nothing wrong by accepting the mosque's invitation to attend the event, and moreover, she was well-received by the participants at the event.
“So, what's wrong with me attending events organised in the compound of a mosque or surau when invited? What is wrong with me exercising at the mosque carpark along with others?
“Why is my effort to get closer to the voters and foster greater understanding regarded as wrongful by Utusan and Umno?
“Am I wrong because I've violated the teachings of Islam or is it because I'm a DAP politician?” she wrote on her blog today.
'PM gives Utusan immunity'
Teo also lashed out at Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for failing to live up to his speech at the 43rd International Convention of the World Chinese Language Press Institute for news organisations to be the “promoter of moderation”.
She accused Najib of failing to put a leash on Utusan and allowing the daily to promote narrow and dangerous views on race and religion.
“It is clear that Utusan is not the promoter of moderation but the promoter of extremism. But will the premier or the home minister take action against Utusan?” she asked.
Asked to comment on the Utusan report, former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi advised all individuals to be “sensitive” when performing any activities related to religion.
“Please be mindful of sensitive matters and not create problems. Be mindful of your actions,” said Abdullah at a function in Kepala Batas, Penang.
Taken from Malaysiakini.