PKR, PAS leaders tell critics of Titas to wisen up

(Harakah) – Far from being apologetic over his criticism of those who are riled up over the teaching of Islamic and Asian civilisation (Titas) in private universities, PKR’s Pandan MP again urged opponents of Titas from among Pakatan Rakyat not to provide ammunition to the coalition’s distractors.

Rafizi Ramli, who is also PKR’s director of strategies, was responding to an article by a think-tank director who expressed disappointment with Rafizi and accused him of “crude political opportunism” for saying there was nothing wrong with studying Islamic civilisation as a subject.

Dr Lim Teck Ghee, known for his Chinese right-wing slant, also argued that Titas’s introduction showed the public sphere was being used “to force feed the young with perspectives that are biased to one religion and narrowly selective”.

But Rafizi turned the table on Lim, urging him not to be selective when endorsing PR’s policies.

“It is not wise for Lim to (only) support issues brought by Pakatan Rakyat which are seen to be against Malay sentiment.

“When we mention NEP and go against UMNO, he supports. But on matters pertaining to the Malay culture or Islamic studies, Lim would object,” the well-known whistle-blower was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying.

‘No polemics until now’

Meanwhile, PAS reminded that Titas has always been taught as a subject in public universities but had never been thrust into polemics until now.

The party’s information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, a former lecturer himself, said Titas was never intended to preach Islam as claimed by opponents.

“PAS does not see any problem with Titas. What is being taught involves all Asian civilisations, be they Indian, Chinese or regional civilisations.

All civilisations, whether Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist which had their glorious past, should be introduced in order to shape true understanding towards a particular civilisation or culture,” said Tuan Ibrahim.

He further assured that PAS would strongly oppose any attempt to imbibe Titas with falsehood for narrow political ends.

Several MCA and DAP leaders have come out opposing the move to make Titas a compulsory course effective this September.

MCA has even suggested that learning the subject could incite religious tension in Malaysia.