COMMENT | Race and religion are among Malaysia’s most common hot-button issues. People care a lot about them and passions often flare up whenever these issues are in the public discourse.
In this regard, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for religious affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa (above) is certainly in the hot seat, with a great deal of attention focused on what he does and says.
In watching what he has and hasn’t said in the first few weeks of his new job and the reactions thereto, I think we can start to identify a number of trends.
I find the most interesting among these to be the manner in which people from extreme ends of the spectrum have completely different views about Mujahid.
A number of progressives, including a number of fellow columnists here at Malaysiakini, have been quite critical of Mujahid, expressing cynicism, citing a lack of boldness or commitment or criticising policy announcements.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is likely significant backlash towards Mujahid from more conservative factions, fearing that he is too liberal and harmful to the position of Islam and Islamic values in the country.
One interpretation of this is that Mujahid has ...