Pakatan: Umno has lost control of Penang Malays

Malaysia Chronicle

As Penang Pakatan Rakyat leaders pass a 10-point resolution supporting the King over the recent khutbah Jumaat row, they also urged Umno to stop politicizing Islam and hand over its self-appointed the role of looking after Penang Malays to the Pakatan.

“It appears that Umno has lost the ability to handle Penang, especially the Malay community. Let PAS do it because we are prepared to offer a much better life to the Malays under the Pakatan Rakyat, with our allies DAP and PKR,” Penang PAS deputy commissioner Mujahid Yusof Rawa told reporters.

“I am issuing a stern warning to Umno to withdraw its influence and hand over to PAS the job of defending the rights of the Malay community in Penang.”

Twisting the facts

The row over Friday sermons flared up after Umno-controlled media especially Utusan accused the Penang state government of ordering the King’s name to be replaced by Guan Eng’s during prayers at state-run mosques.

Umno leaders such as Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Muhyiddin Yassin and even Prime Minister Najib Razak have actively stirred the ruckus by calling for police investigations even though the Penang Islamic council had issued a denial that it had changed the script for the sermons.

“This is a lie, and it is regretful that it had happened in the month of Ramadan. A khatib can pray for anyone, what more for the chief minister who is the main administrator of the state? But to say his name has been used to replace the name of Agong is slanderous and dangerous,” Mujahid said.

Herein lies the crux of the issue. Umno leaders had originally insisted Guan Eng tried to have the King’s name substituted with his own. They have since backpedaled. They are now trying to deny that Umno had again lied to the people by naming six mosques that they say mentioned Guan Eng’s name. But they did not state if the mosques mentioned only Guan’s Eng name, or mentioned Guan Eng’s name in addition to King’s name.

So far, at least 3 police reports have been lodged and a special team set up to monitor the prayers at certain mosques in the state. According to Penang police chief, 15 people have been called in to help in investigations.

“There are prayers that can be done and prayers that cannot. Prayers for the sake of good, we can do,” said former Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin, adding that it was acceptable to pray for the well-being of leaders.