Three senior PAS leaders have condemned the Cheras Umno division for setting up a fund to help the Utusan Malaysia newspaper defend itself against multi-million libel suits, saying their intention had racial undertones.
PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa said it was unbecoming for politicians to be defending newspapers that by virtue of ethics, was an independent organisation, a watchdog acting on behalf of society.
He wondered why Cheras Umno was going after Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who was at the centre of allegations that she petitioned a mosque in Puchong to reduce the volume for azan (a call for prayers) as everyone named in the allegations, from Kok to the mosque committee, had denied this.
Yet Cheras Umno was pushing the issue without realising the sensitivities of race and religion, said Husam.
“This is unhealthy for a country with a strong multi-ethnic and multi-religious composition, it can lead to unsavoury tensions,” he said.
Husam was speaking at the Kota Baru PAS “Hari Raya Aidil Fitri” gathering at the state Chinese Chamber of Commerce where the guest of honour was Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Kota Baru MP Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah who hosted the event said most inhabitants in the country particularly the Malays were descendents of migrants either from parts of the Malay archipelago or from the Yunan province in China with some later coming from India.
PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat urged Umno to come out with a fund to salvage Malays from following the secularism form of Islam that they imposed after learning from the British.
He said it was dangerous to use racism in an age where people are fighting for justice and equality around the world.
Lim who launched his book here about experiences of prison life to the early formative days of a DAP-dominated Penang Government, urged MCA and Gerakan to leave the Umno-dominated Barisan Nasional.
Umno slammed for turning Utusan Malaysia suit into a racial issue