Be cautious when handling sensitive issues in multi-racial Malaysia, says Selangor PAS commissioner

PETALING JAYA: As a plural country where harmony must be upheld, sensitive issues must be handled with caution, says Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Ab Halim Tamuri.

He was commenting on the KK Super Mart socks issue stating that the party was not looking at the “Allah” socks per se but issues concerning race and religion in Malaysia.

“We are not looking at the “Allah” socks per se. What happened was a national issue but as a plural country where harmony must be upheld, we must be careful of all sensitive issues.

“It must be remembered that if we insult others, they will insult us back. To ensure that this matter is handled with wisdom and care, we had agreed that PAS top national leaders be the only ones to talk on the matter if need be,” said the Paya Jaras state assemblyman.

He was speaking at a special “buka puasa” for the media at Kelana Jaya on Tuesday (March 26).

He was responding to the question as to why the Islamist party was quieter than Umno on the issue of KK Super Mart’s merchandise of socks with the word “Allah” on it, which had touched on Muslim sensitivities.

“That said, if respect was given by everyone to all religions, especially Islam, the “Allah” socks issue would not have happened. Some may say that when we take on this issue, it is for political mileage but in truth, it all stems from Islamophobia which is not only in Malaysia but also globally.

“PAS wants whoever is responsible for the “Allah” socks issue to be punished in accordance with the laws and PAS will not use this issue for its own political mileage. We have been fighting Islamophobia way before this.

“In the same way, should a Muslim insult other religions, we would not hesitate to ask action to be taken against him or her.

“We might have been seen not as loud on the issue as others, but that is because we have to be wise in handling such an issue. We, however, will never compromise with anyone who insults the name of “Allah”,” said Dr Ab Halim.

After the issue went viral, on March 16, KK Super Mart company founder Datuk Seri Dr KK Chai and its management team made a public apology to all Malaysians, especially those of the Muslim faith, saying that it had no intention to disrupt public harmony.

The parties allegedly involved in the issue were charged in the Shah Alam court on Tuesday for wounding the religious sensitivities of Muslims.