It is the right of non-Muslims to comment on Hudud: Chua

(The Star) – MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has hit out at Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for equating PAS with Islam.

Stressing that his criticism of PAS’ brand of hudud law was just that, he said it was not meant as an insult to Islam.

“What is wrong with talking about hudud if it is going to affect the whole country? It is our Malaysian right to speak about it,” Dr Chua said yesterday.

“When we criticise PAS’ hudud, we are not criticising Islam. Every time we talk about PAS, the Opposition would say we are attacking Islam. Why? Because they have equated PAS with Islam, which is wrong!

“PAS is a political party. Islam is a religion. They are insulting Islam for equating themselves with it.”

Anwar had, during a ceramah in Taman Melawati in Kuala Lumpur on Monday night, challenged the Prime Minister to state his stand on MCA’s claim that PAS’ hudud law would encourage Muslims to rape non-Muslim women.

On Saturday, Dr Chua had defended Wanita MCA vice-chief Senator Heng Seai Kie‘s claim that PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was instigating Muslims to rape non-Muslims.

Heng’s claim was based on a video recording of Niz Aziz’s speech, believed to be recorded in 2008, on the need for women to dress conservatively.

Dr Chua said PAS had conned its followers by associating themselves with the religion, adding that its leaders did so because they were “hungry for power”.

“We respect Islam as the official religion of the Federation. Let’s be very clear about it,” he added.

The MCA chief also lashed out at PAS members who condemned Heng for extrapolating Nik Aziz’s speech on the need for women to dress conservatively or risk being raped.

“It was not Heng who said it. It was their leader who said that not dressing conservatively could provoke someone sexually. She merely highlighted it,” Dr Chua said, adding that such words were unfair to women.

He also stood by his remarks at the MCA general assembly last week that Pakatan Rakyat’s RM1,100 minimum wage policy proposal was unrealistic and would bankrupt small businesses, and brushed off accusations that he was anti-worker welfare.

“Imagine now, there are three million foreign workers here, earning a minimum wage of RM800. Increasing it by RM300 would mean spending RM900mil a month or RM10.8bil extra in wages.

“That’s too huge a sum for small and medium enterprises to bear,” he said, adding that Pakatan’s exorbitant promises were a ploy to buy votes.