BN using V-day row to split community, says Guan Eng

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 13 – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng accused the Barisan Nasional government today of using the ongoing Valentine’s Day row to practise its divide and rule policy on the people.

The Bagan MP said in a statement that the government’s “racial games and extremism” was aimed at splitting the community to enable it to continue its rule and practise corruption.

He noted that certain parties were attempting to seek popularity among the Muslims by spreading falsehoods regarding Christianity and the Valentine’s Day celebration.

“To label Christian teachings as sinful on TV is extremely irresponsible and rude. It is very clear that certain parties are just attempting to seek popularity among Muslims by carrying out anti-Valentine’s Day campaigns as though it would save Muslims from the sins practised by non-Muslims,” he said.

Lim, a Christian, added that Valentine’s Day was not a part of the Christian religion’s beliefs or teachings, unlike what was claimed by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

In an article on its website, the authority described the February 14 celebration as being not recommended by Islam as the spirit of the festival contained Christian elements and was mixed with immoral acts.

As such, it declared that Muslims were prohibited from celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

“There is no prayer ceremony carried out in churches to mark the occasion of Valentine’s Day. On the contrary, it is merely a popular practice that does not encourage immoral activities or sin.

“If any mischievous person attempts to misuse Valentine’s Day for such activities then it should be banned by all parties, whether Muslim or non-Muslim,” he pointed out.

Jakim kicked off its ‘Mind the Valentine’s Day Trap’ campaign in Putrajaya yesterday, an initiative that is aimed at preventing Muslims, especially teenagers, from celebrating the festival tomorrow.

“If they truly want to defend Islam, why did they not carry out a campaign against the BN leader that attacked PAS’s female candidate and labelled her as extremist because she chose not to shake men’s hands?

“Why did they not carry out a campaign against the same BN leader who then labelled Islamic nations as backward, poor, corrupt and undemocratic?” asked Lim.

Lim was referring to MCA president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek who came under fire during the recent Tenang by-election when he questioned the refusal of PAS’ candidate Normala Sudirman to shake hands with men.