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Friday, June 3, 2016

MALAYA PAS Ulama chief apologises for ‘belittling’ Sarawak Muslims

PENGKALAN CHEPA - Mahfodz Mohamed has apologised for saying that the Malays in Sarawak were not practising the true Islamic way of life, a comment that one Sarawak leader said was “belittling Sarawakians”.

In his winding up address at PAS’ 62nd Muktamar, the PAS Ulama Council chief apologised to all Sarawakians, especially Sarawak PAS delegates over his comments in a speech at the opening of the party’s Ulama wing muktamar on Wednesday.

He explained that his statement stemmed from media queries as to why PAS did not win any of the seats contested in the past two Sarawak elections.

“I told reporters that among the factors was that many Sarawakians did not understand PAS’ Islamic politics,… not that they do not live an Islamic way of life.”

Mahfodz said if indeed many Sarawakians did not understand PAS’ brand of Islam, then the Ulama Council would have a discussion and send our committee members to explain the party’s Islamic politics and policies in the Borneo state.

“We will take turns going to Sarawak to preach. It is after all the duty of the ulama to preach, and God-willing once we are there, we will go to Sabah and do the same.”

Previously, FMT reported that Mahfodz said Malays in Sarawak were not practising the true Islamic way of life.

He had blamed this situation on what he called the colonial understanding of Islam, which had been perpetuated by Umno and PBB, and as a result the Sarawakian Malays were chained by religious ignorance.

Mahfodz’s remarks drew flak from Sarawakian leaders, including Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who sarcastically said that Mahfodz must be conversing directly with God.

Sarawak Assistant Minister for Housing Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, meanwhile, labelled Mahfodz’s statement as belittling Sarawakians and being unIslamic.

By Robin Augustin

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