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Don't turn TH into racial issue, Mubarak told

Published:  |  Modified:

The Malaysian Council of Former Elected Representatives (Mubarak) has been slammed for turning the Lembaga Tabung Haji (Pilgrims' Fund Board) issue into a racial one.

Perak DAP Socialist Youth said its police report on the pilgrimage fund's purchase of debt-ridden 1MDB land at overinflated price had nothing to do with race, as Mubarak had claimed.

"Let me stress that the Tabung Haji scandal is neither a Muslim issue nor a Malay issue, but a Malaysian issue of good governance where public funds (had been allegedly) abused to bail out failed state corporations due to the government's incompetence and mismanagement.

"I am appalled by Mubarak's statement in Sinar Harian today that allege Perak DAP Youth's police report against the Tabung Haji bailout of 1MDB as interfering with Muslim matters in Malaysia," said Chong Zhemin, the political secretary to the Taiping MP.

He was responding to Perak Mubarak's chairperson Saharuddin Abdul Jabbar's comments in the Malay daily article 'Don't meddle in Muslim affairs', asking what DAP's agenda was in making the police report.

"If they are really sincere about Islam, then why don't they support hudud?

"In the issue of Tabung Haji, suddenly they spring forward.

"This is most strange. I am certain if they (DAP) were in power, Tabung Haji might not even receive their assistance," Saharuddin was reported saying.

He added matters concerning Islamic institutions should be handled by Muslims.

 

DAP's actions, he said in the article, made it appear as if Muslims did not care about their own institutions.

Advising DAP to instead focus their attention on "activities such as ah long (loansharks), illegal gambling and such [...] instead of protecting" such groups.

'DAP colour blind'

Chong rebutted saying DAP is "colour blind" and are concerned with both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

"DAP is concerned for all Malaysians. The Tabung Haji scandal is an issue that involves public interest and should not be viewed from a religious or racist angle,"

Chong, who is also DAP Perak economic development bureau chief, added hudud and the Tabung Haji bailout are "totally different issues".

"DAP rejects hudud because hudud is against the federal constitution and is not suitable to be implemented in a multiracial and multireligious country like Malaysia.

"Mubarak’s statement shows that they are practising shallow politics by playing the religious and racial card to divide the people.

"Malaysians are tired of these antics and will not fall into their trap easily," said Chong.

The haj fund caused a national uproar when a blog exposed its purchase of debt-ridden 1MDB's Tun Razak Exchange land at roughly 37 times the acquisition cost four years ago.

Days later, it buckled to public pressure and announced it would sell the land , based on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s advice.

Tabung Haji will sell the controversial piece of land brought from 1MDB following advice from the prime minister, said its chairperson Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

Azeez said the board has agreed to sell it to respect the sentiments and sensitivities of the fund's depositors.

**

On Tuesday, Chong lodged a police report over the matter urging the police to investigate.

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