Editor's note: An earlier version of this article cited Mengkibol assemblyperson Chew Chong Sin's reaction to the Christchurch terrorist attack and its implication in Malaysia. Chew retracted his statement several hours after issuing it due to the "misunderstanding" that it had caused.
A DAP assemblyperson has claimed that the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, should serve as a lesson for Malaysia on the need to curb extremism.
In arguing his case, Mengkibol assemblyperson Chew Chong Sin also roped in the Umno-PAS alliance and the dangers posed by a narrative centred on race and religion.
"The alliance of Umno and PAS and their vigorous agitation on race and religion is totally irresponsible.
"It serves no benefit in the building of a new Malaysia and can also be taken advantage of by foreign terrorist groups...," he added in a statement.
Chew also pointed out how Putrajaya deported six Egyptians and a Tunisian suspected of being linked to foreign Islamist militant groups.
Urging the police to beef up their enforcement, the Mengkibol assemblyperson said investigations have revealed that these foreigners are attempting to turn Malaysia into a safe haven.
"They sneak into our country using fake passports, marry locals, (enter on the pretext of) studying or doing business here...," he added.
Chew withdraws statement
However, Chew has since retracted the statement on grounds that it has caused "misunderstanding".
"The original meaning of my statement is to share my concern of religious radicalisation in Malaysia.
"Sincerest apologies for the misunderstanding caused and shall revoke the respective statement," he said in another statement.
Since the last general election, the focus has shifted to issues concerning race and religion with Umno and PAS accusing the Pakatan Harapan of failing to safeguard Malay and Muslim interests.
The finger is often pointed at DAP who, despite repeated denials, is alleged to be the dominant force in the coalition.
Prayers for wounded Malaysians
In a related development, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng condemned the attacks in Christchurch as a crime against all of humanity.
“No religion condones violence against innocent people, and what has happened runs contrary to all religious teachings.
“DAP hopes that the victims' families and the community in Christchurch can continue to bear this tragic crime with resilience, patience and a sense of compassion to the victims,” he added.
Lim, who is also finance minister, said DAP is praying for the Malaysians wounded in the incident.