‘No distinction between Islam and Malay rights’

Controversial columnist Ridhuan Tee says upholding Islam meant defending the Malay race as a whole.

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, FMT

Upholding Islam meant protection of Malay rights, said controversial columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah in a statement, suggesting that any threat to the latter is akin to challenging the country’s official religion.

The academic, who has a column slot with Umno’s hardline mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia, said although religion should take precedence over race, there was no separation between Malay and Islam.

“I took the decision, the stand, that the importance of religion must be upheld and to protect religion, this includes defending the Malay race as a whole,” he said at the launch of his book at the Defence Ministry here.

The book, entitled “Masih Adakah Ketuanan Melayu?” and “Cabaran Saudara Baharu di Malaysia” was inaugurated in the presence of its minister and Umno vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ridhuan’s, a Chinese Muslim convert, ironically, had often been accused of being a racist for his hardline attacks against the opposition who he described as a threat to Islam and the Malays for their secular policies proposals.

The attacks usually come hand in hand with other controversial editorials depicting the federal opposition bloc, particularly the predominantly Chinese DAP, as being anti-Islam.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders alleged Utusan’s “extremist” approach was a desperate act by Umno to stoke racial fire aimed at shoring support from the country’s majority electorate and political observers noted its success.

Ridhuan, however, denied the allegation and said he and his fellow writers in the Malay daily were only doing their job to protect the religion as a Muslim and as a Malay.