Malacca CM accuses Guan Eng of ‘communalism’

By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam accused his Penang counterpart of fanning “communal” politics and challenged Lim Guan Eng to state if he planned to become a Muslim, referring to the continued khatib controversy in the island state.

“I want to ask Lim Guan Eng, (do you) want to embrace Islam? Lim Guan Eng, do you agree with the Penang mosque praying for you to enter Islam?”asked Mohd Ali.

“If yes, I will also pray for you,” he told reporters here, straight-faced.

The Umno vice-president asserted that the DAP secretary-general is responsible for staining the relationship among Malaysia’s diverse ethnic groups in heavy racial overtones.

Mohd Ali charged the dominantly Chinese opposition party of trying to drive a wedge between the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) component parties and drawing voters to its side ahead of the next general elections.

“When Gan Boon Leong wore a songkok, they said it was Umno bullying the MCA. Now, MCA is afraid to wear it [because] they are afraid of losing the Chinese vote,” he observed.

“This is the communal politics practised by the DAP,” he added.

Yesterday, the Penang khatib, or sermon reader who caused a stir by reciting the “doa” (prayer) for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng instead of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during Friday sermons recently, explained he was only praying for the well-being of all leaders.

Zakaria Ahmad said his action was not wrong in Islam, but admitted his timing and sense of appropriateness could have been better.