Dr M: No need to demolish surau, can be used for other activities

(The Star) – The government did the right thing in revoking the permanent resident status of a Singaporean for allowing a Buddhist prayer session to he held at a surau in a resort in Johor, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the decision to revoke the PR was not harsh as the man failed to respect the country’s policies and religious sensitivities of the people.

“The government has the right to award (permanent resident) and has the right to revoke if one does not follow the law. Whether you are a citizen or a permanent resident, you must abide by the law of the country,” he said.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Saturday said the 45-year-old Singaporean’s PR status was revoked following an outrage among the community in Tanjung Sedili Besar over the incident. 

Dr Mahathir said, however, the surau  could be used for other purposes rather than having it demolished.

He said there were other uses for the building if the people no longer wanted it as a surau due to the incident.

“The building can still be used for other activities but if the people in the area feel strongly about having it demolished, then the authorities should look into it,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya gathering.