Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen has backed DAP deputy secretary-general Nga Kor Ming's remark that the Umno-PAS union could lead to Malaysia becoming a Taliban state.
Chong said the political collaboration between the two parties would constitute a threat to the entire country as a result of their propagation of race and religious-based politics.
"The cooperation of PAS and Umno is not only a threat to Pakatan Harapan, but also a threat to our country.
"As we can see, from the propaganda they advocated in the past two by-elections, they are going along racial and religious issues.
"I agree, to a certain extent, what was commented by Nga, that there is a possibility of the country heading towards becoming Taliban country if PAS and Umno cooperate and win the next general election," he said when speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
The Stampin MP also expressed his disappointment with BN component party members MIC and MCA for going along with Umno and PAS in this new working relationship.
Umno and PAS, the two largest Malay-based parties in the country, had formalised ties earlier this month after working together in several by-elections that have taken place since the May general election in 2018, most effectively in the recent Cameron Highlands and Semenyih polls.
Nga, who is also Teluk Intan MP, had employed the analogy - that Malaysia was at risk of becoming like Afghanistan under Taliban rule - during a ceramah in Taiping last Friday.
This led to Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki labelling him the nephew of late Malayan Communist Party leader Chin Peng.
Asyraf later apologised for his remark, but demanded that Nga apologise for the Taliban claim.
Non-Muslim reactions not 'unnatural'
Meanwhile, Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad said Umno and PAS had invited comments such as Nga's Taliban remark and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng's initial "war declaration" statement due to claims the two parties had been making against the non-Muslim community.
The federal territories minister, who was speaking in the Parliament lobby today, added that such reactions were not "unnatural or abnormal".
He said: "Those (Lim's and Nga's) are individual opinions. (But) that is the environment they (Umno and PAS) created when they use phrases like the country is in danger, threatened by the non-Muslims, hence their call is to unite the Malay-Muslims to face the threats of the non-Muslims.
"So when they make such a call, it isn't wrong for non-Muslims to assume that the unity (of Umno and PAS) is one based on hatred towards the non-Muslims."
He said: "[...] It is not unnatural for the non-Muslims to feel this is a Taliban-style kind of movement."
He added that was why Amanah did not side with Umno and PAS, as the Harapan component party, initially a splinter party from PAS, did not view Islam as a religion which "sowed hatred and enmity".
On March 6, Lim issued a statement in Chinese urging MCA to immediately leave BN because Umno and PAS were now "declaring war" on non-Muslims.
He later issued a correction several hours later, which replaced the phrase "declaring war" with "targeting."
Inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said on Tuesday that a total of 58 police reports had been lodged nationwide against the DAP secretary-general and police have opened an investigation paper on the matter.