While MCA has staunchly opposed PAS’ ambitions of implementing hudud, the party said it is not an extremist party nor an ‘enemy of Islam’.
The party’s organising secretary, Yoo Wei How, said this in responding to allegations by the controversial scholar Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, who has announced his resignation from the party earlier today.
“MCA has never been and will never be an extremist political party. That is why when Ridhuan applied to be an MCA member 16 years ago, MCA did not reject him just because he is a Muslim.
“So stop accusing MCA of being ‘an enemy of Islam,’,” he said in a statement today.
He added that MCA’s membership is open to all Chinese Malaysians.
Earlier today, Ridhuan said he is leaving the party due to MCA’s objection to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang's Private Member's Bill on hudud.
He said he had previously joined MCA because he wanted to retain his Chinese identity despite his conversion to Islam, and because he wanted to act as a bridge between the Chinese community and Islam.
He lamented that his intention was not only unappreciated but the party perceived Islam as a threat.
“I do not want to bear the sins of being a party which is an enemy of Islam. Hence, I announce that I am quitting from the MCA.
“I tried very hard to be in the party, although it took me four years to gain approval to join, as I want to propagate Islam, and do not want to be declared as being a Malay.
“However, my expectations were proven wrong. The party is now seen as being racist and has become an enemy of Islam. Whoever is an enemy of Islam, is also my enemy,” the portal Ismaweb quoted him as saying.
The proposed amendment was meant to enable the implementation of hudud in Kelantan, but applies for all states in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Yoo said the party is now processing Riduan’s resignation.
He said that in the hudud issue, the party holds that Malaysia’s diversity as a multiracial country must be maintained and defended.
“MCA became a political party to ensure a multi-racial parliamentary system and a democratic system of government, in addition to ensuring that the legitimate rights and interests of the ethnic Chinese community in Malaysia as well as the legitimate rights and interests of all racial groups are recognised and protected.
“Since Ridhuan is unable to agree with the objectives of MCA and has publicly announced to the media his decision to leave the party, MCA has begun the formality process of addressing his resignation,” he said.
Earlier today, the MCA secretariat had told Malaysiakini that it has yet to receive Ridhuan’s resignation letter, and his name was still in the party’s members’ registry.
Yoo said Ridhuan had been registered as a lifelong in Selangor since Dec 18, 2000. He was an ordinary member and never held any party posts.
He also said Ridhuan’s claims of acting as a ‘bridge’ between Islam and the Chinese community reeks of hypocrisy.
Despite Ridhuan’s claims, he said, Malaysians especially those in the Chinese community are already familiar with the former’s’ extremist’ rhetoric.
"Ridhuan's comments have denigrated the Chinese community. Although he is an ethnic Chinese, and prior to today, had retained his MCA membership, his comments were often self-contradictory and failed to be a bridge of communicaiton.
"In any case, Ridhuan is no longer an MCA member," he said.