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by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday
): DAP accepts Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd syariah department head, Mohd Fauzi Mustaffa’s sincere apologies and withdrawal of his offensive email yesterday, issued one hour after our meeting yesterday with Takaful’s CEO Tuan Haji Md. Azmi b. Abu Bakar. DAP had requested such a withdrawal and apology from Mohd Fauzi in the interests of racial and religious harmony and to close the chapter on this unfortunate incident that had deeply hurt Malaysians, especially those of Hindu faith.
Mohd Fauzi had issued an email on 3 October 2006 prohibiting Muslim employees from extending Happy Deepavali, Happy Durga Pooja or Happy Lakshmi Pooja greetings to Hindus as such greetings are unIslamic and was like syirik (practising polytheism) to Muslims. Mohd Fauzi had even asked Muslims who do so to repent as it was sinful. Religious authorities from the Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria and other religious scholars had said that Mohd Fauzi was wrong.
DAP accepts Mohd Fauzi’s sincere apologies and withdrawal with an open heart and believes that he will be more careful in his dealings with non-Muslims in Takaful. We wish to thank Takaful CEO Tuan Haji Md. Azmi for his rational and professional approach in handling this issue in the interests of Takaful as a business entity that is not only owned by Malaysians but also conducts business with both Muslims and non-Muslims.
DAP regrets that the PAS Youth has launched a fierce unprovoked attack on DAP on our stand on this issue and has even threatened aggressive actions against us. Such extremist sentiments by PAS are contrary to their claims of respecting the rights of non-Muslims and upholding freedom of religion.
PAS Youth Vice-Chair Azman Maliman also alleged that DAP conducted a demonstration at Takaful Headquarters yesterday. This is a lie as DAP believes in first holding a dialogue, as was held with Takaful CEO, on religious issues. Whilst DAP would stand firm and not fear any aggressive action by anyone for taking a principled stand, we hope that the PAS leadership can behave rationally and reflect on the reality that continuing to exclude non-Muslims is unacceptable in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Malaysia.
DAP hopes that religious sensitivity has been heightened and that Malaysians will avoid any actions that may disrupt religious harmony. Let us therefore move on and celebrate both Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Deepavali in the festive spirit of goodwill, compassion and mutual respect.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP