Ulamas slam father and son in handshake row

The Islamic scholars association says MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and Tee Yong have hurt Muslim feelings.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM) declared today that MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and his son Tee Yong had shown their disdain of Islam with their remarks about PAS’ Tenang by-election candidate Normala Sudirman’s refusal to shake hands with male voters.

They hurt Muslim feelings, PUM secretary-general Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor told a press conference here.

“It could sour relations between the various religions in Malaysia,” he said. “Islamic affairs should be handled only by Muslims. Such comments can ruin unity.”

The MCA president had upset various Malay and Muslim quarters for accusing Normala of bad manners because she declined to shake hands with male voters during her campaign rounds.

His remarks were seen as an attempt to portray not only PAS, but Islam as well, as extremist and thereby scare the Chinese, who make up close to 39% of Tenang’s more than 14,000 voters.

Tenang falls under the Labis parliamentary constituency, which is Chua’s stronghold. It is now helmed by his son.

His lifeline as MCA president depends on his ability to deliver the Chinese votes. Barisan Nasional saw its majority slashed to almost half in the last election and the deterioration was attributed to the swing in Chinese votes.