Muhyiddin in hot water

PETALING JAYA: Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been heavily criticised for remarks allegedly accusing Christians of being in cahoots with a group of Jews to “Christianise” Malaysia.

Council of Churches of Malaysia general-secretary Rev Jonathan Jesudas said such remarks were untrue and irresponsible “for a politician of his standing”.

“We live in a multireligious and multiracial country and the sensitivity of each community must be taken into account when addressing public forums.

“Such statements, carelessly uttered, have a tendency to create racial and religious tension and strife,” said Jesudas in a statement yesterday.

He added that the authorities should also address the former prime minister’s remarks.

“This is to ensure that such a blatant disregard for the truth and of the sensitivities of the various religions are not condoned or repeated,” he said.

In a video posted on TikTok, Muhyiddin can be seen giving a speech where he tells the public not to vote for Pakatan Harapan, saying that the Opposition coalition was being backed by a group of Jews and Christians that was pushing for a Christianisation agenda in Malaysia.

“Pakatan Harapan is a huge danger. I saw a video where a group of Jews were talking about Malaysia and praying for the country to fall into the hands of the Opposition, which has been sponsoring these groups of Jews and Christians.

“For me, this is dangerous. Is a Christianisation process going on?” Muhyiddin said in the clip.

Pakatan condemned the remarks by the Perikatan Nasional chairman as a desperate move.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the accusation was to divert from core issues raised by Pakatan that needed to be answered.

“They are unable to address pressing current issues affecting the people such as the cost of living, limited job opportunities, no salary increase and the low confidence of investors in coming to the country,” he told reporters at Padang Meru yesterday.

In Kota Kinabalu, State Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the people of Sabah must continue to reject religious extremism in the country.

The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) deputy chairman said the state would always condemn religious extremism in all its forms and manifestations.

“The GRS government respects freedom of religion in Sabah and will fiercely defend religious harmony in Sabah at all costs from any attempts, either directly or indirectly, to destroy it,” he said in a statement.

He added that Sabahans were known to be peace-loving people who had been living in harmony and unity even though they belonged to different ethnic groups and embrace different faiths.

GRS general election candidate Kenny Chua said what Muhyiddin said was uncalled for.

“This is not the way we do things in Malaysia. Why do you need to play the religion card?” added Chua, who is in a four-way battle for the Penampang parliamentary seat in the 15th General Election.

It remains to be seen if Perikatan will take any action against Chua, who is also the vice-president of Sabah STAR, a component party of the coalition led by Muhyiddin.

But the Penampang GRS chief said he was only expressing the people’s feelings, especially in Sabah, over what Muhyiddin had allegedly said.