Dr Mahathir: Vote Opposition if you don’t want Jakim


(Malay Mail Online) – Malaysians can choose to do away with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) simply by not supporting the government, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The former prime minister said Malaysia being a democratic nation means that the public has a say when it comes to government agencies.

“If people want to get rid of Jakim, they can get rid of it. Because this is a democratic country, they can stop supporting the government, that’s all,” Dr Mahathir told a press conference here after giving his keynote address at the 2nd annual Malaysia’s War in Corruption Symposium.

Dr Mahathir was responding to G25 member Tawfik Ismail’s suggestion that Jakim be dissolved to allow the country to return to a time when the federal government did not meddle in the religious affairs and practices of citizens.

In an interview with news portal The Malaysian Insider, Tawfik, son of Malaysia’s second deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, blamed Dr Mahathir and his policies for the rapid Islamisation of the country and for creating racial tension.

Dr Mahathir said Tawfik’s remarks were made in bad taste and stemmed from the G25 member’s personal dislike toward him.

“He’s entitled to say what he likes. I know he doesn’t like me, why he has come see me with others is beyond me,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said Tawfik was “very nice” to him during his meeting with G25, a pro-moderation group of Malay retired civil servants, but Tawfik’s attitude outside the meeting was a “different matter”.