Ooi: I never insulted Islam

By Tunku Shahariah, The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s chief of staff Jeff Ooi said he never insulted Islam and has withdrawn his statement labelling Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) an extremist organisation upon his boss’ advice.

“Upon the advise and assurance from the Chief Minister, I have withdrawn the statement and I consider the matter closed,” he said.

Asked if he would apologise as demanded by JIM and other Islamic organisations, Ooi merely repeated: “I withdraw my statement”.

He said since JIM was a registered body, it must accept the fact that it was not exempted from public scrutiny.

“It must also accept that every individual is entitled to his or her basic right to dissenting views and opinions,” he said at a press conference at his service centre here yesterday.

Ooi had come under fire for calling Penang municipal councillor Mohd Razali Abdullah a member of an Islamic extremist organisation.

The Jelutong MP said he had never insulted Islam although the matter was played up by the media.

“I challenge those who accused me to substantiate their allegations. The parties that publicly label me anti-Islam run the risk of being sued because I will have to protect my integrity,” he said.

Ooi reiterated that the state government should remove Mohd Razali from being a committee member of the local authority’s one-stop centre (OSC).

“His disruptive and out-of-jurisdiction behaviour has become a political burden to the OSC,” he said.

Ooi said four major developers had written to complain about Mohd Razali’s misbehaviour during OSC meetings.

“I wanted to build the confidence of these developers as we want them to help us revive some 20 abandoned projects in Penang,” said Ooi, who declined to name the developers.